|Subject: Re: The kindness of strangers|
There have been many examples of the kindness of strangers during my travels, but the last one stands out in my mind.
I arrived in Tokyo late at night, tired out from 2 long flights and just wanting a light meal and bed. I asked at the hotel desk for a recommendation of a place to eat near- by. The lady at the desk was lovely - gave me instructions, wrote the address in Japanese on a paper and drew a map.
Tired as I was, I somehow couldn't find the place. Went into a building that I thought was the right one (I was told that the restaurant was on the 2nd floor), but it wasn't. Wandered around for some 15 minutes, considered going back to the hotel and going to sleep without dinner, felt really down...
Finally tried the same building again - it really should have been there according to my map, I thought. Ran into a cleaning lady in the middle of her "day's" work and showed her the paper. She took me by the hand, led me three buildings down and pointed upstairs where I could see the restaurant's sign.
I couldn't thank her enough. Just kissed her and thanked her (The Japanese don't believe in 'tips'). She laughed and gently pushed me towards the stairs.
How many people would leave their work to show a tourist where to go? I found again and again in Japan that people would go out of their way to be helpful, but this was the nicest example of the kindness of a stranger.
Have fun! Debby - Israel