Friday, January 13, 2012

the kindness of strangers

Russia observes New Year plus Orthodox Christmas over the first 9-10 days of January, depending on the location of weekends. When the host government is closed, generally, US Embassies and Consulates are closed too. So, we just had a great week's vacation without having to use annual leave.

Relatively early in the long week, I dropped my Russian identification card (my diplomatic ID). It isn't tragic - it meant I had to carry around my diplomatic passport for identification and when the Consulate re-opened apply for a new card. Carrying the passport is a bit of a hassle and a stress as pickpocketing is the most likely crime any foreigner is likely to encounter here.

In the morning of the first day back I get a phone call at the Consulate. The woman speaks Russian so my instinct, as usual, is that she has the wrong number. But I focus my attention on figuring out what she's saying and - yep - she found my card. She can meet me the following day to return it to me. At one point, when I couldn't understand the name of the metro station she was saying and I mentioned the station closest to my house to give her context on which line I would take, she said she was comfortable coming to my station. (!!!) When we met, she was exactly on time.

What I said to her as I thanked her profusely was that in the USA, nobody would have done what she did. Then I wondered if I was being jaded about my own country or just realistic. Then I read this Washington Post story.

1 comment:

MOM said...

Lynne - with your previous blog entry regarding giving to strangers just proves what goes around comes around - you helpd a stranger and a stranger helped you
xoxo MOM