The kindness of most strangers

We’ve been away for a few days on my Mother’s Day surprise weekend vacation. The weather has been grand, the food fantastic, and the company unequalled. I am so busy trying to look busy in my day-to-day life that it’s nice to have a breather every once in a while.

I find that when I’m away, I have time to notice things I might not be aware of were I at home and in my usual routine. I am more open to new experiences and I spend a lot of time thinking. Sometimes I even cry. Oh, don’t worry, dear readers, my tears were happy.

Let’s start with our bus ride. I used to take the bus daily to and from work, but my little car is my primary mode of transport now. When J. and I hopped on the bus to our destination in this unfamiliar city, we checked the fare first and made sure we had exact change for the driver. What we did not realize is that only coins and not bills were accepted on the bus. When the driver alerted us to this fact, he could have kicked us off the bus to get change, but he didn’t. Instead, he told us to make sure we had what we needed for the way back. He really didn’t have to do that. Yes, I teared up a little.

After a bit of wandering, it was time to stop for a quick sandwich. We entered the small cafe soon after an older woman who was clean but very, very thin. She obviously had mental health issues. This woman was asking questions about the options but hung back to allow us time to buy our lunch. Then she proceeded to buy a sandwich and some pastries, eating a large portion with gusto and packing the rest to go. Both girls behind the counter were very kind and patient with her, even though she was different. Of course that made me cry.

After lunch, we headed to a street festival. There was a young fellow dressed in a toga who was handing out pamphlets. (He worked at a local medical marijuana dispensary.) Toga Boy spoke at length with the young people beside us–we overheard he had a shoulder injury–and then approached the young people, and even one woman about our age, on our other side. He ignored us.

I was shocked and dismayed and hurt by his behaviour. (I can’t speak for J.) What was this fellow thinking, ignoring the old people? First of all, we probably have more disposable income than the young’uns, and I can assure you we have more aches and pains than all those flip-flop short-shorts-wearing pipsqueaks. That day, I happened to be nursing a nagging shoulder ache and a sore back from a recent gardening mishap, and my antibiotics were making me nauseous. Heck, I’ve got leukemia. I may not experience pain, but I deserve an escape from my reality, don’t I? Toga Boy’s passing us by didn’t make me cry, though, it made me angry. We didn’t judge him for being so out of style, did we?

Pug sitting on Roman column in a toga



2 thoughts on “The kindness of most strangers

  1. My guess is he just respected your age, and since you and J. apparently looked healthy didn’t want to entice you in buying something illegal. Welcome back to our ignorant city where you have to provide exact cash or otherwise have to walk several miles : )


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