The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

En Route

It’s a travel back the the States day, a “get on the bus to the airport at 8:30 am Istanbul time and hope to catch the shuttle home at 9:30 pm Colorado time” day. As one incapable of sleeping on an airplane, I prepare as I would for a tornado: charging my gadgets, readying my books, notebooks, tasks to complete, rations.

When I travel I note others in this survival mode and can usually harvest some good stories from it. There must be a reason we’re in the same place at the same time and this stranger is being so hilarious/helpless/human.  Today, though, I am adding something to the ritual.

When I see others in this transition, in this wait, I am going to be an excellent ambassador. I’m going to smile. I’m going to let them take the last orange juice, recline their seat while I’m eating, even cut me off when we depart the airplane. I’m going to pray that they have one huge moment of joy in their lives before they die. I’m going to pray that they come to understand their potential, and that they actualize some of it, and that they surprise themselves. Maybe this is the reason I will cross so many paths today: because they need someone to note that they exist and to wish them well. And I will do the same for you, my lovely readers.

(Wish me luck around hour 16)


As for Ali, he thinks to himself: “When you come to think of it, injustice and wickedness exist everywhere in the world”; and looking back at America from the deck of the clipper he has boarded feeling homesick for Istanbul, he says, “What is important is to live in such a way that the goodness inside you is kept intact.”

-The New Life. Orhan Pamuk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: