China

The kindness of strangers in big cities in China

In my post about living in China as a foreigner part 2 I recalled a series of instances in which the kindness of strangers saved the day when I lived in a small town in China but if I’m honest my first encounter with the kindness of strangers in China was actually even before arriving in small town China.

You see, when I got the job in China I had a friend living in Guangzhou so I decided to arrive a week early and spend it with her before I moved on to Yangshuo (where I would spend a week attending “orientation” with the company that had  hired me before moving on to the small town where I had been posted). My friend lived immensely far from the airport and couldn’t pick me up so she sent me a detailed plan on how  to take a bus from the airport to a point in town where she would meet me.  It was complete with photographs of what I should see on my way, where I should get off, phonetic transcript of what the bus driver might ask me and how to respond to it! Following the steps was super easy and I was soon on the bus ticking off the photos of the places we drove past.  Then suddenly I knew something was wrong, I had ticked of the final picture before the stop were I was supposed to get of and meet her but I couldn’t see the bus stop. Had we driven past without me noticing? But the bus hadn’t stopped…

I was about to panic when the man sitting next to me -who had obviously been”reading” over my shoulder- asked to look at my paper and tried speaking to me. However, I spoke no mandarin and he spoke no English. Even so, he managed to tell me to calm down. The bus soon stopped and he got up, spoke with the driver and beckoned me to follow him. I saw them unload my suitcase from the bus but I had no idea where we were! Next thing I know the man grabbed my suitcase, beckoned me to follow and started running. I’m not sure why but I trusted him (not that I had any choice). We run for 3 blocks and then there was my friend waiting for me. What a relief! Turns out the road the bus normally took was closed so it had taken a detour. The passenger sitting next to me had gotten of at the wrong stop just to take me where I had to go. If thats not a brilliant example of how the kindness of strangers can change everything then nothing is.  

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4 thoughts on “The kindness of strangers in big cities in China

    1. The world is such a beautiful place full of kind people yet the media would have us believing otherwise. Sadly most people believe everything they see on the news and are too afraid to venture past their own backyards. If by writing positive stories of my travel adventures I make even just one person smile then my deed is done. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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