Jan 28, 2008
An Accumulation of Generosities
For the most part (but not always), travelers are people out of their regular element. Away from their regular pile of resources. And regularly in need of some small thing that would make their lives easier.
In the two weeks I've been traveling, here are some of the things I've seen given, often by strangers:
- hugs to the stressed
- 2-1/2 hours of internet credits at a hostel
- a pair of contact lenses with a close-enough prescription (with reciprocal thanks via a plate of pasta carbonara)
- written advice on travel to Cuba ("The airlines require that you know in advance where you are staying. If you buy your ticket at the airport but don't have a hotel already booked, they will force you to book a room at someplace expensive. If you use a travel agent, they will give you a fake listing for the airline. Then you can just find a cheap place when you get to Havana.")
- an offer to mail you a camera from the US where they're cheaper
- a walk home at night
- an invitation to a solo diner to join the dinner party at a nearby table
- a late night beer; and a banana and some orange in the morning
- interpreter services for an apartment-hunter who speaks poor Spanish
- coins to a beggar*
- a lesson or two (or three) on how to negotiate the bus system
- instead of directions, a car ride to where you're trying to go (when you've failed to negotiate the bus system, despite the lessons)
- the home phone number of the guy who sold you a mobile wireless card ("because everybody needs a friend in town.")
The list will grow.
*a traveler also, I have to think.