On hitchhiking

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For two months I was at a loss of what to write. For me, writing begins with a story, and for some reason, my heart did not find itself a story.

But a few days ago, while we were stranded in the middle of nowhere waiting for a cab that was forty five minutes late and MIA, a story unfolded. One of my co-residents, in desperation that we were going to miss our flight, asked a local driving by if he could give us a ride. He was rejected. Unabashed, he asked another stranger, and this time the stranger agreed.

Ted (the stranger) got his car right away and went to an airport 25 miles out, in a not-too-familiar place. On the way we all chatted about our backgrounds, our hobbies, our stereotypes of each others’ countries (of course, being Canadians, we were diplomatic and didn’t say anything negative. Plus we didn’t want to risk getting left on the side of the highway). Thanks to him, we got to the airport on time.

His simple gesture restored my faith in humanity but also gave me pause. I can’t say confidently I would’ve done the same. I suspect it is a mixture of fear (I’m a tiny girl if you haven’t noticed) and this slight, nagging sense of an immense inconvenience/disruption to my otherwise-uneventful-but- oh-so-important day.

The second moment of inspiration, or the first, really – was my co-resident asking for help. I was too embarrassed/in denial/fearful of strangers to really believe he should be asking for a ride or that it would even work. But it did.

So I conclude the post that comes after my two months hiatus with two words for two instances: be brave – in giving and receiving help.

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