Share A Taxi, Share Some Kindness

, , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2020

When I was fifteen, I went on a trip to my cousin, who lived in Vienna, Austria. I’m from The Netherlands, so I had to take four different trains to get there, and for two of them I had to make a reservation. I was at the station on time, but the first train had a delay of half an hour, which meant that I would miss the next train that would take me through Germany and for which I had made a reservation. I started panicking on the first train and called my parents on my old Nokia, but of course, they couldn’t do anything, either.

When I got to the station, I was almost in tears. Wi-Fi wasn’t a thing and I didn’t know what to do or who to call. But then, a man came up to me, and asked me where I was heading and if I wanted to share a taxi. It’s not usual in The Netherlands to take a taxi, as the public transport is very good, plus it’s way too expensive for a fifteen-year-old, so I didn’t think of it myself. I heard my mom’s voice in my head, saying that I shouldn’t go to a different country in a strange car with a man I didn’t know, but I really didn’t have a choice.

So, we went to the taxis and found a guy who would take us to the town the train was supposed to go. He charged 90 euros, and the man and I agreed that he would pay 70, and I would pay 20, as I didn’t have that much money.

During the ride, the man turned out to be really nice. He was from Brazil, living in Germany, so we spoke to each other in a mix of German and English. Even though I didn’t always understand what he was saying, he still managed to calm me down.

When we got to the station, even though he had to travel a bit further to get to his home, he got out of the car to help me get my bags. I took my wallet to get him the 20 euros I owed him, but he pushed my hand away and said, “No, no, it’s okay. I’ll pay it. Enjoy your stay at your cousin’s.”

This happened seven years ago and I still think of it. It probably didn’t mean a lot to him, but it sure did mean a lot to me. He made me realise that day what being kind and giving what you can miss — 20 euros weren’t a lot to him, but to me, at fifteen, it was — can mean to someone else. 

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I made the train.

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