Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's ok to talk to strangers

I did mention in my previous post that I won shopping vouchers (please see It's my birthday and I can gloat if I want to ). Hooray for me!  Honestly, it was a pleasant surprise but getting a prize was the farthest thing from my mind.  My intention was to simply acknowledge the kind staff of Starbucks LCCT (low cost carrier terminal), Malaysia.

So, I nonimated them in Malaysia airports' TOUCH campaign and wrote about their good deed.  Let me tell you the story.

My travel buddy and I arrived at the Kuala Lumpur terminal past 1am. I usually cap the night by 9 pm so I was partly sleepwalking at that time.  Good thing, I was sane enough to arrange for airport transfer before our flight.  The hotel advised me to call as soon as we land.  Since I needed Malaysian coins to use the phonebooths in the airport and I wanted to call immediately before I doze off (while walking), I asked the nearest shop (Starbucks) to change my dollar into coins but didn't order anything (I was so exhausted and sleepy, I wanted to be done with the call ASAP).  Without batting an eyelash, they gave me enough coins for the call and returned my dollar.  I thanked them and immediately hopped from one phonebooth to the other trying to connect to the hotel.  Unfortunately, all the booths seemed to be out of order but I mindlessly continued to dial away (I did mention that I don't think straight when I'm  sleep deprived, right?).  Two of the Starbuck's staff whom I asked for change came out for break and noticed my desperate attempts to make a broken phone work.  They approached us and offered the use of their cellular phone.  I was hesitant initially.  In my head, I was thinking "I'm a total stranger plus I look weird (I'm not only expecting to miraculously bring the phonebooth to life but I was also in my monk costume- an all white punjabi), are they not afraid that I run away with their phone?!" and "How generous of them to let me use their phone's credit considering they don't know me from Adam! Are they for real?".  Eventually, I swallowed my doubts and pride, accepted their offer and called.  After more failed attempts, not wanting to disturb them any further,  my companion & I thanked them profusely and handed the phone back.  They were hesitant to leave but we insisted that they take their break.  However, in less than 10 minutes, they were back.  They reported that they were able to contact the hotel and that the driver will arrive soon.  We were very grateful and handed them a few dollars for the help but they refuse to accept it.  Instead, they showed us where we will be picked up and quietly left.  But before they head back to their post, they checked on us again to make sure we are ok.  Just then, the driver arrived.  Since he  didn't speak English, they stayed awhile and interpreted for us.

This experience convinced me that people are good and that there are still those who are willing to walk the extra mile to extend their help.  Now, I'll never tell anyone not to talk to strangers.

People, just be discriminating yet trusting and you'll come across the good Samaritans.

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