Kindness of Strangers


Travelling solo is a choice that I embrace with glee and reluctance. No doubt, most of the time, travelling solo is so so rewarding, going places that I really want to go and see things that I really want to see without any concerns for schedules or having to put up with mood swings, and all I have to care about is my pleasure. I will not trade these freedoms for anything in the world. However, sometimes, i do wish I have a travelling companions especially when I have been on the road for an extended period of time, not having communicated without anyone in a deep reflective manner can be quite lonesome. I wish I have someone to share memories with. So, in times like these, I appreciate the angels that I have met along the way. Angels that made my day and to this very day, I still look back and thank them for their gratitude for extending their unconditional kindness to strangers like me.

Cambodia topped the list when it comes to extending kindness to strangers. In my short stay in Cambodia, I experienced endless extension of hands to help me along the way, taking me into their homes for meals knowing that I am a solo traveller and Cambodian people have no qualms about paying for your meals or even taxi/tuk tuk fares. It’s astoundingly unbelievable. I have been reflecting on this act of kindness and I couldn’t believe the honour to be stowed this kindness.

Once after an outing in a tuk tuk, without enough small notes to pay for my fares, the tuk tuk driver just waved me off and said “it’s okay” and turned to go away. I felt so bad for him because these fares are his likelihood, I was frantic because I was not used to this extravagant act of kindness. But, he doesn’t even bid an eyelid. I cannot imagine this being the case in Singapore. I think I would be hauled to the police station for cheating or trickery or even fraud. But, here, when every penny counts and to be honest USD 8 is not a small amount for these drivers. I can imagine their disappointment working the entire day without a salary to bring home to.

We are living in a fast paced society which is increasingly materialistic, we are unable to part from the materials that we have worked out ass off to accumulate. It is in the unlikeliest place that I learned what it truly means to be a blessing to others. The wealth that we have accumulated is not meant for us to hoard and for us to haul into our graves when we died. Nothing matters when we died. It is the sharing of wealth with the people who are lesser than us that counts and that’s what makes this current life we are living in now a fulfilled life. The real meaning behind all these wealths is to see others prosperous alongside us.


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