One thing I love about travel is how very much opportunity it presents for meeting great people and experiencing kindness.
Regular at-home daily life does as well, but as I’m out and about more often while traveling, being exposed to more people, I feel as if it happens to me even more than at home.
Or perhaps that’s just my perception. (I’m typically friendly with every clerk I meet in stores, I say hi to crossing guards, and I say hello to people I pass while walking as home as well as while traveling.)
I will carry this kindness and remember for my entire stay in the UK…
As I sat down to await my next fabulous meal at The Swan pub, I pulled out my iPhone to update my journal and do some other writing — and noticed my (new in May) Apple iPhone battery was down to 27% yet again. (I wish I knew why; I’ve been through the settings.) Oddly, my trusty Innergie battery was dead as well.
So I brought my USB iPhone charging cable up to the bar and asked the bartender if he happened to have a USB charger there that I might use to power up my phone.
First, he said they didn’t — but then it hit him that he might. When he returned with one I jumped up from my seat. He told me there’s an outlet right beside my table.
I was able to get to over 60% by the time I was done eating. As I paid my bill I thanked him for the charger and said I’ll bring it back in a moment.
He paused a moment and said to keep it!
I stumbled. “Are you sure? Please let me pay you for it. You have no idea how great this is for me.”
“No,” he said, “it’s nothing. I have more.”
When he came around to clear a table near me, I handed him 3 £1 coins, saying it was to repay him for the charger. “Working here shouldn’t cost you money,” I said.
He refused the coins. Then he explained that they come with devices so he has a few at home and they didn’t cost him anything. Finally, he allowed me to give him a small, not £3 tip.
I’d been in nearly every store in town and not seen a dedicated USB charger.
This makes it so much easier to stay charged.
I will carry this charger with me daily. Around the house. When I go out. I will truly remember this kind man every day that I’m in his country. And long afterward.
Today I also enjoyed these simple kindnesses
I love my Solgaard watch but it’s difficult for me to pull out the stem to change the time so it was still on California time even though I’d been here 6 or 7 days.
Passing a jewelry and watch shop, I asked the woman there for a favor. Could I borrow a tiny flat screwdriver or something quite thin to pull out the stem so I could set the time?
Once she understood my query, she went back and came forward with a tool. She didn’t just hand me the tool; she actually popped the stem and set it for me — with nice words and a smile.
Staff at Bank Cottage Dental Practice were all great. The receptionist even held my preferred next appointment time so I could be sure to get my other broken tooth done as soon as possible. I love Connor Hichens, the man I will proudly call my dentist while in the UK.
The woman in the tourism office told me about the upcoming local production of Roald Dahl’s The Witches, a play I now have a ticket to see. He’s the guy who wrote Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and this is in a historic great venue. (I know, she’s supposed to be nice and help tourists, but not all service people feel so genuinely kind or happy to help a stranger.) And yes, I plan to take my host as my guest. I just need him to decide the performance is good timing.
In a discount store where I bought a 5-pack of plastic food containers for the house for £ I.29, I also had a nice conversation and got advice on £1 licorice that I enjoyed for the rest of the day.
Back at The Swan, because I’ve learned its generous portions of good food for around $10.00 is a great deal, as I was having another mild dilemma choosing my dinner, a couple from South Africa came in and cinched my choice for me. The Pie of the Day which was Steak and Ale Pie with peas and perfectly crisp chips (french fries) for £7.95 ($10.24).
And, of course, as always, I returned home to a fabulous host who is so kind to have me here.
As I end this post and end my day, my iPhone cable awaits in my gift charger. I’ll sleep well again.