The Nice Thing About Strangers

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

Good, But No Samaritan

On the 92A bus, a gruff Austrian soldier keeps his pack on as he watches intently for his stop. Two elementary-aged boys on board spot an opportunity and sneak up next to the soldier. They connect a loop on his backpack to a plastic strap at the empty wheelchair-accessible seat. The boys await the soldier’s stop with ill-concealed glee. They ride beyond their exit in anticipation, whispering about riding the line back again. The soldier stays oblivious, staring out the window, and when he rings for his stop, the boys can barely contain themselves. As the doors open, the soldier is shocked. He’s stuck, moving forward but being held back.

I reach over and free him–no Samaritan since I’d seen what the kids were up to and smirked along with them. At the next block, the boys fly out the doors in triumph. An old man commiserates with me about harmless children and we permit each other full, open, public laughter. The others in the bus stay quiet and serious, but we keep laughing until the last stop. Three years later, I recall the boys and laugh even now.

–Vienna, Austria.

Wien, Vienna, Christmas, 1st District thankless jobs, Vienna, first district

17 comments on “Good, But No Samaritan

  1. Arpon Files
    December 30, 2012

    Además de guapa una buena observadora y relatora, de esos pequeños detalles que forman la vida cotidiana y que para muchos pasan desapercibidos. Feliz año nuevo. Un abrazo

  2. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    December 30, 2012

    Feliz Año Nuevo para usted también! 🙂

  3. Rich Maffeo
    January 1, 2013

    Your story got me laughing, too. Thanks for telling it.

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 1, 2013

      🙂 Thanks for coming by to check it out. Rascally kids and oldsters are my standard fare! Happy New Year!

  4. photographymemoirs
    January 2, 2013

    Dear Paige,
    Greetings from a land far away. That story with the soldier is the stuff of children’s’ books. It put a big smile on my face. All the best on your European adventure.
    God bless

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      January 2, 2013

      God bless you too! I am so pleased that we shared a grin over it. 🙂 Hope all is well wherever you roam!

      • photographymemoirs
        January 2, 2013

        My absolute pleasure Paige,
        I love the sincerity and joyful expression in your writing, which is so refreshing to behold. You’re the type of person I could sit with a cup of coffee and share our experiences about the wonderful world we live in. Take great care, I’m still smiling 🙂
        God bless

  5. butimbeautiful
    January 6, 2013

    Vienna needs a good laugh! It seemed like a serious place, when I was there.

  6. fgassette
    January 15, 2013

    Oh what a wonderful story. It gave me a chuckle that I am sure will last all day. Your photos are wonderful as well.

    • fgassette
      January 15, 2013

      Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.

      • thenicethingaboutstrangers
        January 15, 2013

        🙂 Happy to swing through! Thank you for coming over here as well. I AM encouraged by your work. Thank you!

  7. longtooth77
    January 16, 2013

    the title of the post is a beauty 🙂 class of your own, Paige

  8. thenicethingaboutstrangers
    August 31, 2015

    Reblogged this on The Nice Thing About Strangers and commented:

    Playing along with tiny pranksters in Vienna.

  9. Darlene
    September 1, 2015

    Love it!! My character in my children´s book is in Vienna as I write!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      September 7, 2015

      Oh, how wonderful! VIenna was a lovely place for me. 🙂 I wish your character a fantastic trip!

      • Darlene
        September 8, 2015


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This entry was posted on December 28, 2012 by in Blogging, Europe, Happiness, Mischief, Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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