As you give…
The night before leaving Argentina we’re in a shop buying things for dinner and, as we wait in line, we see this kid in front of us. He’s about 7-8 yrs old and he’s holding tightly to a couple of packs of Skittles. I see him fretting… he’s got a worried look on his face.
His turn comes and he swallows heavily as he hands the sweets to the cashier lady. He suspects it. The price appears on the screen … a dark shadow passes over his face. Now he knows it! He looks at the screen, looks at the money in his hand… looks at the screen again. He swallows. The lady takes the money from his hand, sees it’s not enough and tells him.
His world collapses! Now it’s official, now she knows it too… He’s confused, he cannot let go of his favorite sweets… but the numbers up there just don’t match the money he had in his hand. The lady suggests swapping one of the sweets for a cheaper one. Before he has a chance to react, we intervene and tell her we’ll cover the balance. She smiles and commends our gesture, but the boy is way too shocked to even look at us. His heart is probably racing with a combination of shyness, shock and sheer happiness. He rushes out of the store and leaves us with the best feeling ever – the feeling that we’ve just made someone’s day!
… so you receive
The next day we’re on the bus crossing into Brazil, destination Rio de Janeiro. Prepared as we usually are, we don’t have one cent of the local currency. The bus stops for lunch and we go into the restaurant, more just to pass the time than to actually eat, as we know we can’t really buy anything. Moreover, once we go in we realise lunch there would be over our budget anyway. We do go the whole round though, it’s a buffet and you pay by kg so we’re mesmerized by the great variety of food. They have grilled cheese (which looks divine!) and they have other funny looking things as well… the guy there has a huge smile and he keeps offering us different things to taste (cow tongue being one of them) as we struggle to explain we don’t want to refuse him, but we really don’t eat meat.
Anyway, as we finish our round and prepare to exit the restaurant, this middle aged man catches up with us and starts talking in Portuguese, with the of course unmistakable Brazilian accent. I struggle to understand and I realise this is what he’s saying (in brief): ‘You’re young people, traveling, maybe on a budget, I’d like you to have lunch here on my expense’. We can’t really believe it at the beginning, we’re stunned and we don’t even know what to reply. He continues to say we’re young and he wants to offer us lunch, adding at the end: ‘I am offering it from my heart’. We’re still shocked and we know the bus is about to leave, so we thank him (from the heart) and try to explain in a mixture of Spanish, English and Portuguese that we’re fine, and we really appreciate his offer.
We get back on the bus with huge smiles on our faces, knowing this is the miracle of random acts of kindness :).
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