• James Knight Media

Going my way?

Just a little thing I thought I'd begin. I'm calling it 'Thank Goodness'. On as many days as possible (during the Coronavirus crisis) I'll post a little story that reminds me of the goodness I've experienced somewhere in the world. It's just a way to bring us together, to learn from and be uplifted by one another. Here's today's offering:

October, 2004.

It was bloody cold. The nostril hairs had become stalagtites. After lodging for a few days in a shoe-box of a room that had a bed that was little wider than a windowsill, I decided it was time to move on from Zakopane, (Poland), and head to Slovakia. I looked at my map. The border crossing at Lysa Polana was a mere few steps away (or so it seemed to my map reading skills). So, with backpack on, I began my short walk. Never mind that only a week earlier I'd run a marathon in Germany and I was still hobbling. Well, it didn't turn out to be a short walk, did it? Especially not when it was snowing, and silly me had decided to wear my ol' faithful RM Williams boots. (Not a good move on icy mountain roads---there were no footpaths). On and on I went, staggering, stopping, and cursing my own utter male-borne stupidity.

I don't know how much time passed....but it was certainly long enough for my frozen toes to go on strike.. before I heard a vehicle sweeping round a blind corner behind me. I stepped to the side to see a van slow and then stop next to me. The male driver wound down his window and said something that rumbled from the back of his throat. I shrugged my shoulders. Next thing you know, the female passenger was opening a door and inviting me to sit in the back. I did. And off we went. The two in the front, who I presumed to be married, tried to engage in conversation with me. It was hopeless. Not even the offer of a swig of Vodka (which no doubt doubled as the van's emergency petrol supply) helped to loosen my tongue. They laughed, I continued shrugging, and the speeding van did Charlie Chaplin steps around every turn. Eventually we reached the border....about 25 kilometres away from Zakopane.. I offered the couple some money. They both shook their heads and the driver said something that sent both of them into fits of laughter. I may have wanted to pay them, but it seemed they'd already enjoyed more than a few moments at my expense! I waved goodbye. The woman blew me a kiss. The van farted. And as cold as I was, I had a smile all the way on a bus, then train to Bratislava. Thank Goodness.

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