Friday, February 19, 2010

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the chance to realize one more time how friendly and helpful most people are. (People are friendly and helpful in Seattle, too, but since I live here I am not as often in need of their assistance.) Looking even moderately confused will almost always cause people to pause in whatever they're doing to make sure you're not lost or in trouble, and if you are, to help you find your way again. The old man on the bus made sure that we knew we would end up on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, the scowling teenager helped us confirm that we were heading in the direction we wanted to be in, the bartender at the Tonga Room offered to take our picture as many times as it took to get it right.

Part of why I don't mind traveling alone is that every time I go anywhere, people are almost always friendly. Sometimes others are not quite so nice--sometimes they try to give you 100 Euro for a blowjob--but almost everyone makes an effort to be kind. Traveling is a good reminder to be helpful to people I meet that are visiting my city--to not always rush past someone holding a map upside down or not quite finding the Space Needle through the fog. To offer to keep taking pictures until the perfect one happens.

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