Have you ever been stuck somewhere in a foreign country with no ability to speak the language?
This is how one man, Joey Frey, thought that he was stuck in a bind until one elderly lady changed his perspective forever.
I was on a train in Switzerland. The train came to a stop, and the conductor’s voice came over the loudspeaker and delivered a message in German, then Italian, then French. I had made the mistake of not learning any of those languages before my vacation. Everyone started getting off the train, and an old woman saw I was confused and stressed (I had to catch an overnight train to Rome, and I was flying home from there).
She spoke some English, and she told me that an accident had happened on the tracks. She asked me where I was trying to get to, and I told her. She went up and talked to some workers, and came back and told me that we’d have to hop trains 3 or 4 times to get there. I was really glad she was headed the same way, because it would have been hopeless for me to figure it out on my own. So we went from one train station to the next, getting to know each other along the way. She was really the sweetest woman.
It was a 2.5 hour journey in total, and when we finally made it to the destination, we got off and said our goodbyes. I had made it just in time to catch my train to Rome, and she told me she had a train to catch, too. I asked her how much farther she had to go, and it turns out her home was 2 hours back the other way. She had jumped from train to train and traveled the whole way just to make sure I made it. I was in shock but I managed to blurt out, pathetically, “you are the nicest person I’ve ever met”.
She smiled gently and hugged me and told me I’d better hurry off so I make it home. She seemed unreal. I was really convinced I was saying goodbye to an angel. I’m not a very emotional dude, but I cried my face off that night (dammit, I’m doing it now, too).
A woman spent her entire day sitting on trains taking her hours away from her home just to help out a confused tourist visiting her country. No matter how many countries I visit or sites I see, I’ll always say the most beautiful country in the world is Switzerland.
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