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Beautiful Stranger


I enjoy public transportation. Though it is not as comfortable as being in an own car or in a cab, and sometimes you have to endure the awkward feeling when almost everyone you encounter stares at you as if to measure up who you are and what you have, there is something that makes me relish each experience. I guess it’s the social interaction, the contact with others—with people who are total strangers to you.

One sunny day, I was in a bus squeezing past others to find a seat. The bus was full of people who were obviously in a hurry to get to their destination. I couldn’t get a seat so I just held on to one of the rail handles. I noticed there were males seated but no one cared to give his seat to me or the other girls standing. No more gentlemen today, I told myself. Or probably they didn’t find me attractive enough to deserve their seat. Well, that was just a thought.

Anyway, about three seats away from me was an old man, his face brown and lined with wrinkles. He stood up, motioned for me to come, and offered his seat. I hesitated to accept his offer because I saw he had a cane. I knew he needed to be seated more than I did.

But he was insistent. So I smiled at him, made my way to where he was, accepted the seat he was offering me, and thanked him. The trip lasted almost two hours because traffic was bad.

I thanked the old man again when we got off at the bus stop. He just smiled back at me and waved good-bye. It always amazes me how life connects two complete strangers in moments like these. It was as if he knew me. It was as if I knew him.

I watched him walk away slowly, his every step aided by his cane.

In today’s busy and hurried world, I wonder how often this kind of thing happens in a day, how often someone pauses for a while and takes advantage of the opportunities to help others, to make others feel better and comfortable. Whenever I think of that day, I remember the old man who gave me his seat and stood for almost two hours in spite of his weak knees — a beautiful stranger who reached out to me one sunny day.

Posted 8 years, 10 months ago at 11:32 pm.


13 Replies

  1. Thank you so much for being at my blog and left such nice and true words.

    I can see you’ve a wonderful blog and very thoughtful. How great.

    Keep in touch if you feel like it.


  2. nortehanon Dec 7th 2008

    Hello, The Soulseeker,
    Thank you also.
    Will try to keep in touch as often as I can.

  3. sabi nga sa ending ng play ni tennessee williams, “you can always depend on the help of a stranger.”

    sana marami pang katulad ni manong-with-cane. surely, the world will be alot more happier.

    God bless!

  4. nortehanon Dec 7th 2008

    Hi brotherutoy,
    Naks, nabasa mo rin pala yung streetcar na ang pangalan ay desire ni T. Williams hehehe

    Yes, tama ka, sana marami pang katulad niya na may puso para sa mga nangangailangan.


  5. na guilty ako ng konti,

    minsan kasi pag nasa bus ako, minsan pinangungunahan ako ng hiya na mag share na inuupuan ko, kasi baka sabihin ng iba na “kasi maganda yung babae” pero pag matanda na talaga yung tao babae man o lalake o may kasamang bata, hindi na ako nagdadalawang isip na ibigay yung inuupuan ko.

    nakaka touch naman yun, pero mas okay yung ginawa n’ya na, to remind us lalong-lalo na yung nakasabay mo sa bus na dapat isini-share yung pagkakataon na ‘iyon sa lahat ng katulad mo, kung ako nasa bus na ‘yun, sobrang mahihiya talaga ako sa sarili ko dahil kung sino pa ang pwedeng magtiis tumayo ay siya pang nagpaka-lumpo..

    haaay.. nice post 😀 10/10 perfect!

  6. nortehanon Dec 9th 2008

    hahaha, at may score pa ako ha! Salamat sa pagdalaw, Otep!

    Wag ka na ma-guilty. Marami ka pa namang chance bumawi 😉

  7. minsan naman, nakasakay ako sa jeep. may dad na may dalang baby girl.sobrang mainit nun so i offered na paypayan yung baby nya. at yun, super thank you lang sya hanggang makababa ako. the way he smiled and sincerely thanked me was touching. another connection with a stranger moment, i guess. amazing indeed. nice post. 😉

  8. nortehanon Dec 9th 2008

    Wow, you did something really, really thoughtful. Nakakatuwa naman. I have always believed in doing simple kind deeds. Masarap sa pakiramdam 😉

  9. ang ganda ng header mo. palagi ako sumisilip dito para laruin yung header mo. nabano ako ang ganda kasi. Very useful and verstile.

    Sabi naman sa ni Henry nouwen: Be kind to strangers, he might be the next president of the US.

    hehe ako din nag quote.

    anyhow thank you norte for dropping by my blog the other day. Im on a semi hiatus actual;lly but on my very limited spare time I see to it that I give my visitors a shout on their blogs.

    Friend mo pala si Skippy? shes’s also one of my oldest friend here in the blogosphere. I always see your comment on her blog. She on my number one slot on my list of the most kindest people in the blogosphere.

    BTW, are you a male or a female? I always ask this question sa mga bloggers na bago ko kakilala. It softens the element of shock.

    hope to hear more from you soon

    Pax et Bonum

  10. nortehanon Dec 9th 2008

    Kapatid na Bluep,

    Pax Christi!

    Salamat at napasyal ka sa aking bahay kubo kahit ka busy. Salamat din at nagustuhan mo ang bubungan ko hehehe.

    I agree with you, Ate Skippy is soooo kind. I consider her my nakatatandang kapatid. Matagal ko na siyang kakilala. Bait-bait niyan 🙂

    Parang pang-beauty pageant ang question mo ah: “Are you male or female?” hahaha. Alien ako Bluep ahehehehe.

    Sige na nga, sasabihin ko na ang totoo. Baka matakot ka nang bumalik dito at magbasa ng mga alien’s notes 😉 Girl po ako at tawagin mo na lang akong “Miss N” as in “Nisteryosa” hahahaha

  11. haha kala ko kasi lalaki ka kapatid kasi nortehanon tunog lalaki. Ilang beses na kasi ako nadengoy dito sa net. Tulad nung akala ko babae yun pala binabae haha. Kaya as early as now kinaklaro ko LOL

    Oo sobra busy actually pero naisasangat pa rin ang pangangapitbahay.

    naku swerte ka kay skippy. mabait na friend yun. para kang may angel na kaibigan literally. actually swerte mapapangasawa nya. hayyy

    dumaan lang ako at baka in need of reply ko ang reply mo. God bless Kapatid.

  12. haha sa amin kasi, babae o lalaki, Nortehanon talaga ang tawag. Eh alien nga kami di ba? hahaha. Walang gender sensitivity issue sa planeta namin LOL

    “Amen” lang ang masasabi ko sa lahat ng sinabi mo kay Ate Skippy 🙂

    Salamat sa pangangapitbahay kahit ka busy hehehe

  13. I am touched by this story – so much na naguilty ako. I take public transportation as well from New Jersey to Philadelphia.

    When I was in the Philippines – I used to do that. I’m not sure if I really cared or because it was part of our culture. Here in the US, since women fight for equality all the time – they are being treated equally by the men as well.. No Seat? Sorry.

    But you’re absolutely correct to ask – do people stop and think every day and say, “How can I make someone’s day better today?” I’m sure there are many beautiful strangers out there… it’s just hard to find them.

    Peace (I LOVE YOUR BLOG!)

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