Our first trip to Europe, we packed like Indians usually do - way too much! And instead of packing it all up in easy-to-carry backpacks, we were hauling around massive suitcases - a little too heavy to actually manage. We managed our first stop at Rome quite easily, as we found a mini van to drop us at our cute little Airbnb, right next to the Collosseum. But all hell broke loose the day we had to catch a train to reach the quaint town of Cinque Terre.
It was a 6 AM train, and we had planned to take the metro to reach the station - a quick ten minute ride. We managed to lug our bags till the metro station at 5 AM, but what we hadn't bargained for was there not being any operator at the ticket booth at the time.
Now let me paint the picture - we had pulled our luggage for more than a kilometer, then carried it down a long flight of stairs to the underground metro station. At this point we realised the ticket counter is shut, and the only way to get through is to either possess a pre-paid pass, or to purchase a ticket from the ticketing machine - which was present on the other side of the station.
Huffing and puffing, we carried the luggage up the stairs again, walked across, pretty much dropped it down the stairs at the other end of the station, and finally reached the ticket machine. Which didn't have change.
Reaching near panic mode, we half dragged half carried our luggage up again, to try and catch a cab on the road to the station - except the road was absolutely deserted. Desperate, we started asking passers-by for change to the fifty euros note we had, but to no avail. Most thought we were trying to mug them and ran away.
And then came along two cheerful American girls, who not only heard us out, but told us respectfully that they didn't have change to offer against our fifty euros. What they did offer though, was their metro pass to us, to manage to get through. We offered them our money, which they declined, saying it was only two Euros and didn't matter.
But it mattered so much! I don't think I can ever forget them, or the kindness they showed two panicking Indians, an early morning in Rome.