Grand Gesture To Get To Grand Rapids

, , , , , | Hopeless | August 25, 2019

(I’m on a bus going back home from Columbus, Ohio to my small hometown in northern Michigan. Since it’s a small town, the bus stop is the lobby of a small motel. Just as I’m getting off, the passenger in front of me holds up his phone, and I can see that he is trying to communicate with me with a translator app.)

Passenger: *through the app* “How much longer until we get to Grand Rapids?”

(I overheard him speaking in Spanish earlier, and being fluent enough in the language, I explain:)

Me: *in Spanish* “You needed to transfer to another bus back in Flint, but don’t worry; I’ll help you.”

(I walk up to the driver, who has gotten off the bus for a smoke break.)

Me: “This man was headed to Grand Rapids but missed his transfer in Flint. Is there something you can do to help? Also, he doesn’t speak English so I’ll have to translate.”

(The driver agrees and gets on her phone, and then goes in to talk to the motel’s clerk. A few minutes later, she turns to me:)

Driver: “Okay, we’ve got him a room here for the night, and the next bus to Flint leaves here at noon tomorrow. He doesn’t have to buy another ticket.”

(I relayed this information to the passenger in Spanish, and he thanked me for his help. The next day, he texted me and let me know that he’d gotten on the bus. A little while later, he texted me because he wasn’t sure if he was headed in the right direction, but from his description, I could tell he was headed to Flint as intended. Later on, he informed me that he made it to Flint and got on the right bus to Grand Rapids. I had a lot of Spanish-speaking friends and classmates when I took high school Spanish, which I think was helpful in making the language stick. It’s good to see that all these years later, I’m still fluent enough to do a good deed with it!)

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