Humans of France


With all this never-ending hate on social media, one gives up faith in humanity. The mentality you see on social media be like, 'You commented badly about my religion, I'll insult yours through my atrocious comments', 'You just made fun of my country, I'll google everything bad about yours and comment all that shit here' and so on. Why we forget the idea of humanity before religion? Planet before country? Anyway, I won't go off-topic. This incident happened with me recently and made me believe good humans do exist.

I planned a two-day trip to Strasbourg, a small town in Eastern France (French-German border). Planned very spontaneously, as most of my trips are, I booked a room through Airbnb. At the spur of the moment, I didn't check the exact location as the address read 'A small cottage in Strasbourg' (and it was very cheap so I didn't think twice). Left early morning from Munich and enjoyed afternoon at Baden-Baden (a German city at the French border). Took a late evening bus to Strasbourg and that is when it struck my mind to check the exact location of the cottage I booked. It showed 55 km away from Strasbourg. I got bent out of shape over the misleading advertisement but soon realised it was my fault. I called up the guy. I could barely understand his English so I asked him to text me the exact location and conveyance to reach there.

'Take the bus to Saverne' he texted. I called again to confirm 'Yes, the bus to Saverne.' He confirmed.

I reached Strasbourg bus stop. The last bus to Savarne left in 20 minutes from the central train station which was 10 minutes by tram from the bus stop, could it get any worse? Yes. Language! All the French I learnt, went down the drain. But thankfully my broken German helped. Reached the station 5 minutes earlier but still needed to find the bus. Luckily I saw the bus leaving the place while I ran in front of it to stop it.

"Saverne?" I asked the driver. "Oui! (Yes)" He replied "Ticket?"

"Can I buy it from you? The ticket-machine is in French and I ...."

He interrupted "Oui, Oui!" with a big-smile on his face.

I finally relaxed at the window seat to enjoy the Alsace region. An hour after I woke up to realise I slept through the journey. It was almost midnight and I was the only passenger in the bus. I ran to the driver to ask him about the address (A world without google maps isn't easy).

"This is 20 kms away from here!" he was equally surprised as me. I was rooted to the spot.

"Fuck! Any buses? Taxis?" I asked looking around the deserted roads with dashed hopes.

"Noi. Wait for me. I'll park the bus and come" he said with a smile.

"Sorry? You will return?" It was totally unexpected.

"Yes. Wait for me. I'll be back in 15 minutes"

The driver returned in his car and waved at me. An amazing gush of feelings waved through my spines as I saw him. He told me he lives 15 km in the opposite direction. I couldn't thank him enough. Through our small discussion, I found out he was into automobiles studies but gave it up to drive bus and trucks (big vehicles, as he put it). He enjoyed it.

We reached our destination. He didn't desert me till he saw the guy come out of the house.

"I can't thank you enough" I took out my wallet "Please keep this as a token of thanks. Please" I extended 30 euros to him

"No" He batted my hand away "Have a beer from my side" He smiled and drove away.

Maybe a small incident but it essentially gave me a feel-good feeling. Good and selfless humans do exist. I hope the driver (Strasbourg to Saverne bus- Course 30188) reads it and accept my huge acknowledgements.

Maybe, bated breath in the beginning but a very beautiful start to know 'French' people or as I'd say good people from France.

This blog was first published on 'Humans of France'