We had spent the weekend in Barcelona. We decided to take the train to the airport. The train wagons were so full that we couldn’t even get a seat, but stood right there close the luggage compartment.
There was an animated crowd there, speaking loud and laughing even louder. As I speak Spanish, I did what one ought to do instead of getting irritated with the noise. I joined their conversation. In fact that was the best that could have happened to us.
I heard where they were heading to and my heart started beating fast, when I realized that we were in the wrong train; worse than that, that was a direct train to a city 100 km away. My near panic face rang all alarm bells and my husband grasped easily that we were in trouble.
What happened next was amazing. I shared our situation with those people. They called the conductor immediately and helped us explaining the issue. In a sterile world that in face of difficulties, replaced flexibility, understanding and creativity for strict rules and processes, I would have expected him to shrug and tell us to have been more careful. We should know better and that was our bad luck.
The man surprised everyone. He took the emergency brake and informed us that he would stop the train in the next city where we could get a train back to Barcelona. The crowd got excited and we relieved. It felt like a movie scene. The crowd cheered and so did we. Our hero deserved no less!
We jumped out of the train and waited more carefully for the next one.
I had almost forgotten this story and my husband reminded me of that today. When in our travels we both talk a lot to strangers; being it in taxis, train stations, airports, everywhere when someone opens up for a little talk.
We always meet interesting people and hear amazing takes; that day we met much more than that. What a generous man and heartwarming attitude.