Tuesday, March 11, 2014

the kindness of a stranger

Becky joined her (recently moved-in) family, with whom I was staying, in Seoul a few short weeks before I arrived. She was as new to the country as I was, and eager to explore its countryside. But neither one of us knew where to go.  After asking around, we were directed to Yeonju Moon.

"Jinju is a nice area," Yeonju said. "We're actually heading there tomorrow for their annual lantern festival. You both can join us if you like."

And to think we only just met.

As an afterthought, she continued, "there probably won't be any rooms available though because of the festival... so you can stay at my brother's house with us as well."

Our small words of thanks didn't feel sufficient enough.

Her brother Lee's generosity exceeded even hers. Because of our two extra bodies, in addition to Yeonju, her two children and the Smiths, a couple she was touring around, Lee and his wife left the house to the lot of us; sleeping instead at his mother's. He treated us to dinner at a traditional bar-b-que restaurant, spoiled us with a lavish breakfast in the morning, and rented a van in order to drive us around the surrounding countryside.

In his kindness he offered the Smith's their bed, as they were older, while the rest of us slept on the floor.

"Their generosity has been outstanding, and we couldn't be more grateful," the Smiths whispered to the both of us in the morning. "But as much of an honor it was to sleep their marble slabbed bed, it would have been much nicer on the floor."


Patti said...

The kindness of strangers is a common theme in your blog posts. It has affirmed my belief in the general goodness of mankind.

claireb said...

Funny, Patti. I never even realized that. :)