I was travelling in Germany before Christmas and on my return journey, I had to take the bus from rural Bavaria back into Munich. I can just about get by with my German, but when the bus driver took my ticket and reeled off something at me in a thick Bavarian dialect, I stood there blankly.
My host had given me the all day ticket that works on for every bit of public transport in Bavaria and I was told the only thing I had to do was validate the ticket! I couldn’t tell if the bus driver was joking with me (he certainly didn’t look like it!) or giving me a telling off for asking whether the ticket was still valid.
Luckily, a woman came to my rescue and explained that the ticket was fine, despite having the wrong date on it (date of purchase) and I didn’t need to validate it. Then her friend chimed in that it did in fact need validating and after what seemed like a little quarrel between them, she scanned my ticket for me and showed me where I needed to get off for the train station. We all had a laugh about it in the end, especially when I got stuck getting out of the bus and waved them goodbye.
I’m sure the woman was a kind person anyway, but did it help that I smiled and greeted her as we were waiting at the bus stop together? Maybe. But a smile goes a long way.
When was the last time you were kind to someone just for the sake of it?