Random acts of kindness

Humanity is always good for a surprise. You only believe what you see with your own eyes, huh? Well, then you are in for a surprise… 🙂

The other day I read the story of this great blogger. She is a student on the opposite end of rich, but with a deep and rich inner life that she shares with her many readers. She has chosen to experience one thousand days of being single (that’s also the name of her blog).
One very sad day her laptop died and she let her readers know there probably wouldn’t be any entries from her any time soon, until she would be able to buy a new computer.

When I wrote the first draft for this blog entry (yesterday) I typed away directly out of wordpress. I never do that, because I always save everything somewhere else before I publish it. Well, yesterday I did and there was a new menu point I hadn’t noticed before. So I tried it.

Uh-oh!

I realised instantly I had a malfunction when my complete text – two hours worth of typing and getting my head round the right words – had gone and the text field was blank. I could press the back-button all I wanted, but my text wouldn’t reappear.
So after a few minutes of using curses and swear words I had to accept the fact I was going to have to let it go.

Now, the next morning, after a good sleep, I think this a very useful and suitable instant given the topic for this blog. Although I only suffered on a very low scale compared to this blogger I mentioned, I now can explain to you much better how she felt when her computer crashed and took thousands of pictures, countless written texts, in fact her life as an author as well as a student with it.

After some time without word of her there was a new entry in which she wrote about a very nice friend of hers who told her to go to a store and would she please choose a shiny new mac and he paid for it, so that she could go on writing and doing research for her academic life. Just like that.

Wow! I thought. I wish something like that happened to me….

And then it hit me that it already had.

Many moons ago, when my life was bumpy and difficult I experienced a very long period of being unemployed. I had to think twice if I could afford a bar of chocolate (I kid you not) and became very skilled in creating something to eat from an almost empty fridge.
One day a very nice couple I know took me to the side and passed me a banknote of the kind I hadn’t seen quite a while and said they had decided I should have it. Just like that. I literally stood there speechless and with a gaping mouth. They didn’t make a fuss about it or expect anything from me in return. They just wanted me to take it.

Wow, right?

Humanity is always good for a surprise…

Like in June 2009, when I was on my way back from an eight months stay in England. My flight included a long stop over in Cologne. I felt miserable from very nasty monthly cramps at the edge of being sick, combined with farewell to a future in England that didn’t work out as planned and an uncertain future ahead of me.

Time dragged along and although I wasn’t hungry I had to put something into my empty stomach. I had to rely on my British debit card because my Austrian one had expired during my stay and could only be renewed with a new job in hand, which I didn’t have yet.
I bought a sandwich and when I paid the waitress said that something was not quite alright with it. It had worked, but only just.
After some more time I got really hungry. I hadn’t eaten properly all day because of the cramps and as I was still a long way from staying at my cousin’s place for the first weeks and beginning to feel sick, I decided to go for another sandwich. I went to the cash desk and secretly prayed to all heavens to let it work again. I typed in my code and immediately got an error message.

Suddenly my feet felt like lead and my mouth went dry. The fact that I had just left behind my home of eight months and didn’t have a new home yet, technically made me a homeless person, but I had never felt like one up to that moment at the cash desk of that cafe at Cologne Airport.
I can only imagine what I must have looked like. Probably a lot like The Little Match Girl when she dreamt of all the Christmas presents and dinners laid out before her at arm’s length.
The pain and desperation when I had to accept the fact that I could not touch the things so close at hand must have shown on my face when I shoved the sandwich over to the man at the counter, admitting that I had to leave it there. He stared at me and contemplated the situation for a long moment.

And then he said “That’s alright. Keep it. Just for once.”

I thought I had misheard him and asked him to come again, which he did. 🙂 I couldn’t believe my luck and felt like he had just presented me with a six-course dinner with lobster and Beluga caviar and quietly cried a little when I ate it. It’s a shame I didn’t write down the name of the man or the cafe, in order to return the favour with a donation for a person in need next time.

I could add many more stories like those, not to do with money, but heartwarming all the same and they all really happened to me.

Like the uplifting experience I got from treating myself to a particularly nice box of chocolates yesterday (just because I’m worth it… :-)…). Picture a heaven for guilty pleasures full of handmade chocolates in all shades and flavours and a male version of Juliette Binoche in “Chocolat” to know what I’m talking about.
A very charming shop owner he handed me the box suitable for me – “the best thing you’ve ever had” he said when asked what was in there. While I waited for him to bag it he said “There! You look like you could use a kiss” and passed me a chocolate from a compartment saying “Have you already been kissed today?”

I wish a picture could also convey the feeling you get from putting one of those creamy little cylinders into your mouth and letting it melt on your tongue. But if you close your eyes and concentrate….

There! One for you, one for me.

Do you feel the fruit? And the touch of Sherry?

See! It works… 🙂

Be kind!
x, Ella

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