“Thank you for making my experience in Paris, and Europe for that matter, such a wonderful and heartwarming one. I have so much to thank you from the very moment I stepped into Paris.”
Paris has been the first stop of my 6-month leg across Europe, the very first trip out of my home country that I made on my very own. You can imagine the trepidation that comes with going to a foreign country for such an extended amount of time.
“Thank you for waking up at 5am even though you are not a morning person, to take the first train to the airport to pick me up. Thank you for carrying my luggage, all 30kg of it, up and down flights of stairs from one metro station to the next as we switch trains.”
That was the very first time we met after a couple of exchanges over Facebook.
“Thank you for giving up your big and cosy bed for me while settling for a pullout sofa for the 5 days I stayed with you. 30 square metres isn’t big, yet you willingly gave up half of your private home space for someone you barely knew.”
We connected through a mutual friend, and when I told him my original planned accommodation in Paris, he warned me of the dangers of the location and unhesitatingly offered his place.
“Thank you for exploring the Parisian streets with me and for watching out for me on crowded streets. Thank you for not minding my presence while you celebrate New Year’s Eve countdown with your bosom friends. Thank you for taking care of my meals although you weren’t obligated to.”
When I suggested bringing him out for a meal as a way of saying thank you, he refused adamantly, encouraging me instead to save my funds for my travels around Europe.
How could a stranger whose existence I am unaware of just days before, treat me like family overnight? It takes immense trust and compassion to be able to extend such kindness and generosity. For that, I am eternally grateful. And because of this stranger, I now believe in that true kindness exists in the world.