THE BLOG
09/16/2014 11:09 am ET Updated Nov 16, 2014

Japanese Hospitality

A few years ago, I was able to make one of my dreams come true -- visit Japan. I had found an inexpensive ticket, and went to the airport floating on cloud nine.

When I arrived, though, I found out the flight was delayed. I knew it was going to be a long trip in the first place, and was worried because I was planning to meet a friend when I arrived in Kyoto and head to her apartment.

As the hours passed, I started chatting with some of the other people waiting for our flight. One was a woman who was also traveling alone, and we spent those three hours connecting...chatting laughing, and expressing our glee over being able to visit a country we both loved. We didn't sit near each other on the flight, but after 13 hours, we arrived and found one another in the terminal.

I spoke pretty decent Japanese at the time, but couldn't read very well. Many signs are bilingual there, but the whole train system was a bit confusing, and with so many flights coming in, the scene was chaotic at best. My new friend and I had to get on the bullet train to Kyoto, but had no idea where to go.
After some hurried directions, we ended up in the right terminal but must have looked so lost, because a businessman came up to us and asked if we were okay. I explained to him that we needed to get our train passes and head to Kyoto.

I will be forever grateful to this man. He stayed with us through everything -- waiting in line at the office, translating for us, talking us through how the train system worked, and even waited up on the platform until our train arrived. The whole thing must have taken about an hour and a half. I don't know how we would have managed without his kindness; I'm sure he was heading home after a long day of work, and yet he showed only delight and happiness at being able to help us. After almost 18 hours of travel, we finally boarded the train.

Thank you, sweet man, for going out of your way to help two confused foreigners! I will always remember you and the example you have set in my life.

Samie - Japan

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