Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Let me tell you story about kindness. I am not sure why it surprises me when people are so kind and generous, but I was so totally floored by the kind hearts that we encountered today. I’ll start from the beginning…

As we were in the midst of our super-long travel day to Thailand (scheduled to be over 50 hours of traveling), one of our students lost his passport somewhere between clearing customs in Los Angeles and boarding our connecting flight in Hong Kong. Now, losing your passport is freaky enough as it is, but what makes this even scarier is that you cannot leave the airport without a passport. If you’ve seen “The Terminal” with Tom Hanks, it felt a lot like that. So while the rest of the cast boarded the plane, this student and I sat there in disbelief in the Hong Kong airport and tried to think of what to do next. Not a super way to start up our last month of touring eh?

Before we could even wonder what to do, the airline found the phone number for the consulate and let us talk to them. We were then escorted around the airport by a delightful woman who not only helped us navigate the red tape, but also made sure that we had a map and all of the information that we needed to get as quickly as possible to the consulate. Getting into Hong Kong was a snap and there we continued to find people who really wanted to make sure that we got things sorted out as quickly as possible. Much to our shock, we had a new passport in hand by 3:30 that same day.

Without wasting a moment, we raced back to the airport in hopes of getting on a new flight. Now, we fully expected to have to pay a change fee, but with a kind woman at the Cathay Pacific desk, she spoke with her manager and had the fees waived. She put us on the next flight that left in 45 minutes and wished us well. With no plans of what we were going to do once we arrived in Bangkok, we felt that at least we would be in the correct country and timezone and we could figure everything else out. Upon arrival though, an alumna from Up with People was waiting for us to take to a hotel that had already been booked with plane tickets in hand that were to take us up north the next morning.

So here I write from the humid, tropical paradise of northern Thailand still in awe of the kindness shown to us by strangers. I know that this has set my journey here off on the right foot so that I can do my best to give back to this place that has already earned my heart and gratitude.

1 comment:

Anne said...

Your story brought tears to my eyes (no surprise). May this just be the start of a wonderful time in Thailand.
Love Anne