Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

After submitting the key to the maintenance guy, the office was closed. I said good-bye to my place. Not too long thereafter, my ride arrived. We had a nice drive to Union Station. No traffic, or any funny business. I dragged my heavy luggage all the way across the station to the bus stop. Not cute, but I'm used to that by now. Trust me! I was moving, so I was definitely not traveling light! I had to book two seats in order for me to check in two pieces of luggage. So I did. That was also going to guarantee me an empty seat next to me, which is a gem when traveling long distance.

  I was an hour early. I like being early, it took a lot of practice but I am finally there. Before, I used to make it just in time wherever I was going but it's so much better to be early. Nobody wants to be the only sweaty, out of breath person at the bus stop. In winter! You end up not even knowing if it's cold outside or what. By the time you calm down, you're freezing, it's a hot mess that I am so done with.

I love that they have outlets to charge our eletronics on the bus. That, to me is more important that wireless. which they also have but apparently no video streaming. Which, if I'm gonna use the internet on the bus, is what I would like to do. Some people need the internet though, so, it's a nice benefit. There was a bunch of teenagers in front of me, who where speaking Dutch. I understood 80% of what they were saying. They were goofy but I didn't want to be that creepy grown up who's laughing at their private conversation but I did ask if they were speaking Dutch. They were surprised that I understood them and were grateful it wasn't anything that was meant for their ears only. At this day in age, especially in big cities where there are always tourist, one should never assume that nobody else but you speaks the language.

Some guy was asking around for his bus. He wasn't taking the same bus as us. We had never heard of the bus he was looking for and in big cities like LA, Vegas, New York, you never know. It could be he isn't even looking for the bus. I decided not to even make eye contact. I didn't want to get involved. He had one backpack with him and looked like he just woke up. An hour later, it was time to get on the bus. When you check in, they give you a number. When it's time to board the bus, we go in according to the numbers on our cards. If you're nice and early, you have first dibs on where you would like to seat. If you're a bus taker like me, those things count. I almost always sit on the same seat though, funny enough. I have also noticed that even on the local buses here in Vegas, I seat on the same seats.

As they were loading our luggage, I noticed that the gentleman from earlier on, about an hour prior who was looking for his bus was still out there. He looked sad. I assumed he missed his bus. I had a feeling to approach him and find out if he's ok, so I quickly stepped out and talked to him. He was shocked when I just stood in front of him out of the blue. I think he was deep in thought. He told me that he had missed his bus and had to wait until 4pm for the next one. It was around 10am. Also, they probably were going to make him buy another ticket at 4, what it that bus was full? I wished him luck and on my way back to the bus asked the driver if they could let him use my spare ticket. My thing is, I don't make promises. I would rather surprise you. I wasn't gonna tell him I was going to get him on the bus, what if the driver was going to say no? I didn't want to raise his hopes like that. The driver was like, your ticket is so that you can take two large pieces of luggage with you; which you do, so no. I told him that the guy only had the small backpack with him, we could pretend as if my 2nd luggage is his and let him sit on the seat that came with my second ticket. I mean I did pay two full fares after all. The driver was kind enough to agree.  I was so happy . The guy wasn't even aware of what was going on. I went back to him and told him to come on. The driver was almost done loading too, so it was time to go. ! He brought his bag in and came and sat next to me.

Once we were settled in, he asked me what's going on. I explained to him. He was so touched, he told me that people don't do that kind of stuff anymore, he was humbled that I did that for a perfect stranger. I was like, well, I guess they still do! haha. He told me his story. He had just moved to Vegas from Chicago. He lost his job over there and everything. He had had a good job. He moved to Vegas where his fiance lives. Not too long after that, he got a job over in LA. He took it. The job was going to pay for accommodation and all that, so he didn't have anything to worry about. The whole thing turned out to be a scam. As soon as he could, he bought a ticket back to Vegas, that's when I met him. Poor guy had been through a lot. I was so glad to have made his day. I told him that maybe that was a sign that things were about to make a 180 degrees. He was very interested to hear about South Africa. He knows a lot about her too, he knows a lot about Africa and black history in general. Pretty impressive, actually!

We were both tired. He found an empty seat elsewhere and napped. I did too. When we arrived in Vegas, I was trying to figure out where to take my bus and how I was going to get all the stuff I had with me on. I saw him outside and said bye, he thanked me again and asked if I needed help with my luggage. He helped, I was so grateful. I wasn't expecting any of that. When we got into the station, his fiance was already there. They hugged and all that good stuff. He told me he would be right back. He took his fiance to the side, then came back and his fiance offered me a ride home. Can you believe it?

I was so touched, I could've cried. "People don't do that anymore", right? We arrieved in Vegas at 4pm. The guy was like, if it weren't for you. I would only be leaving LA now! His fiance is so cool too, she's a friendly chick. We exchanged numbers, she told me she was going to put her ear to the ground for me and help me find a job. That was nice to hear. They dropped me right by the main entrance of Hostel Cat on the Las Vegas Strip. I was so happy for that out of nowhere miracle. I mean, if you think about it, the guy didn't even become a burden, he hardly even used the seat next to me, I ended up by myself, so did he. That's why someone, when you are presented with an opportunity to help someone; when you have someone somebody else needs, just give it to them. Don't over-think it because that's when negative feelings like, what if, kick in. At the end of the day, you end up like me, being rewarded withing 5 hours in a way you didn't even see coming.

Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it!