The Kindness of Strangers

Day Two in Vienna, 2019.

The kindness and sheer delight of strangers is becoming a theme on this trip to Europe.

It started with my flight overseas. Even though it took me 8 hours longer to get here than scheduled – the voyage was good.

Bad weather was the culprit. T’storms forced a series of changes — and all along the way kindness prevailed. It certainly helped that I had a good attitude.

Mostly it was kind strangers.

  • the Air Canada woman who moved me to a nonstop. On another airline! Because I wasn’t going to be able to make my connection.
  • The AC baggage clerk who personally retrieved my checked bag.
  • The Austrian Airlines desk manager who just checked me in rather than send me to the end of the line of 150 people.
  • The hotel manager in Vienna who found a better room for me even though I was early and the hotel was full.
  • The Viennese woman at breakfast who showed me the eggs she’d just ordered (if you think I’m obsessed with eggs – yeah, maybe a little) when the waiter didn’t understand my question on how those eggs were cooked. Ultimately, she invited me to join her and she was fascinating!
  • In our conversation over breakfast I learned that she’d lived in NYC in her younger days while working at the UN. She spoke perfect English (but then many Europeans do). She gave me an insider’s guide to Vienna. A lawyer: she works for an NGO and advocates for women and people in Kosovo who live on 1.5€ average a day and can’t get good health care.
  • Speaking of which: I almost forgot!
    • The pharmacist who gave me the antibiotics I desperately needed, WITHOUT a prescription.

    The young woman could see I was upset especially as I frantically tried to bring up the patient portal from my U.S. clinic to find notes on the prescription. She stopped me. “That’s okay. I trust you.”

    By the way, the drugs cost me 11 Euro. That’s about 12 bucks. Let’s not go down the rabbit hole of why the hell they cost so much more in the States!

    Kindness and conversation. And I’ve only been here two days.





    One response to “The Kindness of Strangers”

    1. Sara Petitt Avatar
      Sara Petitt

      Love following you. The wonderful people we meet in chance encounters in travel is lovely.
      I’ve had SAME experience with getting prescription drugs in Europe even without a Doctors note and the prices are ridiculous compared to U.S.
      Can’t wait to get your new posts.

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