The Kindness Of A Stranger

Last night, I went to collect a Thai meal from the local restaurant in Beetley. A very short drive, and only a twelve minute walk in better weather.

But at 6:30 pm, it was raining hard, and still very icy on the pavements. So the short drive was preferred.

The food was being prepared fresh, so I had to wait for almost twenty minutes past the order time until it was ready. When I got back to the car, someone had parked very close to me. Reversing out was going to be tricky, but in the large empty car park, it seemed easy enough to just swing the wheel to the right, and execute a large ‘loop’ so I was facing the exit.

However, the snow on that part of the car park was deeper than it looked, and my car came to a sudden halt, the front drive wheels spinning. I remembered the drill in those situations, reverse a little way, and get a bit of a run against the snow in front. As I reversed, the rear wheels stuck fast. The person who had parked so close as to make this happen appeared with his meal in its bag. He jumped in his car, and drove off easily from the harder paved area where I had been originally.

I was now alone, stranded in the rear of large empty car park, with my car refusing to move either forward or back. I had some decisions to make.

Return to the restaurant, and try to get help from the staff. I already knew they were flat-out busy, and only one of them was a man stong enough to help. And he is the head chef.

Abandon the car, walk home in the rain, and return for it tomorrow, using something under the wheels to get a grip on the snow. The food would be stone cold by the time I walked home. Warmed up Thai food is not exactly appetising.

As I pondered my options, it started to rain harder. Freezing rain mixed with sleet, pinging against the car windows

Then a car drove in, and I made my play. Running across to the car as it parked on the hard surface area, I spoke to the driver, a burly man in his late thirties. I asked if he could help by pushing my car as I tried to drive it out of the snow. Or failing that, he could drive it, and I would push. (Though I doubted my strength to be able to do that, in all honesty) He said “Hang on”. I returned to my car to wait.

He took some time, and I wondered if he had changed his mind. But then I saw that he was putting on a heavy coat, to combat the sleet and cold. He came over, took a place at the back of the car, and I tried again. It still stuck, so he suggested going in reverse again. That didn’t work, and he shrugged. “Third try, then I will have to go and get my meal, okay?” I thanked him profusely, and gave the accelerator a push.

Out it came, onto the harder area. Reluctantly it seemed, but unable to resist his final determined push. I jumped out of the car, and unable to shake his hand, due to Covid social distancing restrictions, had to settle for a geniune and heartfelt thank you, that I am sure he knew was very real.

Thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger, we were able to eat dinner before it had time to get cold.

74 thoughts on “The Kindness Of A Stranger

  1. So glad that someone stopped to help. I live in a small town so for us to help each other out just happens all the time, but I know from trips to the city, not everywhere is like where I live.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was driving one hot summer day in Las Vegas. As I crossed the Strip, a cloud of steam began rising out from under the hood of the vehicle. Evidently, my radiator had developed a serious leak. I pulled over into the Tropicana resort parking lot, lifted the hood, and, along with my wife, waited for the engine to cool. Fifteen minutes later, a total stranger walked over with a full jug of coolant, and gave it to me! It was enough to get us home. From that day forward, until I was finally able to afford a new radiator, I kept two 5-gallon containers of water in the vehicle. This is but one of numerous times I’ve benefited from the generosity/kindness of others. And, of course, I’ve always believed in “paying it forward,” and have done so often over the years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for adding your own experience, David. I have offered lifts to elderly people here, though they usually decline and tell me they are not going far. I also undo the jarr lids and bottle caps for an eldely neighbour, and used to look after another neighbour’s cat and dog when they were on holiday. It is all part of village life here, but I am pleased to hear it also happens in Las Vegas.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Theo. I did go up to him and ask for help, but he could just as easily have said no. πŸ™‚
      Nice to be reminded that Beetley people are usually very kind.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    1. The food was good, Em. I had to wolf it down straight away of course, but that wasn’t an issue. πŸ™‚ People in Beetley are usually helpful, one of the benefits of living in a small community.
      As ever, Pete. XXX

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    1. Okay, this is what we had. πŸ™‚
      Starters; Na-Moo Pork and Chicken Satay
      Noodles; Fried egg noodles in garlic, and Chicken Pad Thai.
      Mains: Garlic Pork in Oyster Sauce, Pork Ribs in sweet chili sauce.
      I demolished my half, but Julie saved half of the ribs and Pad Thai to have for her dinner tonight as she wasn’t so hungry.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yum. Sounds delicious, Pete. We have one local place that prepares decent Thai food but we have not even had takeout since the pandemic started. I am glad you were able to enjoy yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The Thai owners of the restaurant live in the house oppoiste ours, Maggie, so we know them well. Their food is considered rather expensive for this area. Last night’s meal cost us the equivalent of $62. That’s the sort of prices you would pay in London.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, we can get a decent meal for two of us in restaurant for about $45, (without wine) and that includes government service tax for eating inside. Despite the prices, the Thai is very busy, as it is the only eating establishment in Beetley.

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  3. “The person who had parked so close as to make this happen appeared with his meal in its bag. He jumped in his car, and drove off ”

    What a very “nice” person! Glad you found some help.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Shame about the first guy, the one who’d cause all the trouble to begin with, but good for the kind stranger. I do hope that what goes around comes around, but I’m pleased you got home OK and with a hot meal as well. Take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank goodness for a happy ending. It can be easy to assume that kindness is in short supply when people are living in poor circumstances, and therefore only concerned with self-preservation, but often the reverse is the case. I genuinely believe that most people are willing to help someone in need, and only a minority will choose not to, for a variety of reasons. Maybe they become politicians and bankers…….. πŸ˜‰ Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A pity the first guy who had hemmed you in didn’t realise your predicament and offer help. But that is so often the way – we’ve forgotten how to help each other

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I once had a stranger pay for my parking when I’d gone to a local beauty spot only to find the machines took only cash and only coins of a certain denomination. I was all set to leave but he just paid for me.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. The first guy could easily see I was in trouble. Driver’s door open, me haniging out looking, and wheels spinning. I think that’s why he made a hurried exit. People here are mostly very helpful though. They will offer lifts to hospital appointments, even though the hospital is 20 miles away.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

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