Sunday, November 9, 2008

An unexpected guest

Last Easter I traveled from capital city Bratislava where I live to my hometown in Eastern part of my country. My mam was expecting me and we were both delighted to be together again. I hate the journey home by taking bus or train, it lasts too long. So I decided to buy a ticket for a plain and be in 35 minutes in Eastern Slovakia.

The morning was nice and I was in very good mood. My mood got much better instantly after a kind suprise on the plain. I met my former fellow from university. She worked as a stewardess and I could take place close to her just to speak and remember times we were students. After we landed I could see a pilot cabin and talk with pilots a bit. This amusing and unexpected experience made me smiling after I said good –bye to my stewardess friend.

My travel continued, I had to take a bus from the city I landed to another city and then once again take a bus to my home town. I waited for a bus on the bus station and just after few minutes before deparature I met another school fellow. I had to smile. It was just 8 o´clock morning and I already met 2 people I have not seen for years. We did not have enough time to speak, but it was a very joyfull and unexpected meeting.
I thought how nice my day have started and after two unexpected meetings I was sure I will meet somebody interesting yet. It was true.....

While waiting for my next and final bus I spotted a stranger on the station. I knew he was from Asia but I could not recognize his country of origin. Every stranger is very noticeable in this corner of my land, becuase tourist prefer to visit capital city in the West part of the country and only a few tourists come here.
10 minutes before a bus should come I stood in the row and the man stood behind me. I was really suprised he travelled to my home town. There are not many tourists in my town although Bardejov is an old historic town and an official part in Unesco heritage fund.

I decided to introduce myself to the man.
It was cold and I spotted his hands are cold becuase he started to chafe his hands. I offered him one of my gloves :). He did not take it but we could start talking. The man was from Japan and he loved old European history. We took the bus together and after 2 minutes I decided I will invite him to our flat for a lunch. I just wanted to make him happy to get an opportunity seeing how we (natives) live behind our doors. I think this is a dream of everybody who is a real traveller. Most of the time, you can only see the culture in the streets, restaurants, shops...but the real life is behind doors, in flats and houses where people live their real lives.

The japanesse tourist was very delighted and he agreed immediately. I called my mam and informed her we have a guest for lunch - Mr. Michio from Japan. She was suprised but I knew my mam is great.

My mam doesn´t speak any english, but she is very empathetic and understands many things without speaking. Mr. Michio was a great guest. Becuase of Easter, my mam has decorated our flat in a very lovely way, and he liked it. He took many pictures and use his camera. The japanesse people have a good sense for details and he appreciated all decorations my mam did. We offered our guest all kinds of food he could taste and he liked the „compote“ (fruits with sweet water put into bootle and pasteuresied) because he has never eaten this kind of food. We talked about history, politics, cultures, languages, family life....
I knew that japanesse people are very polite. But when I saw our guest having enough of food-tasting and being to polite to refuse another piece, I just asked him to be honest and not to be polite anymore :).

We sat and spoke for a whole afternoon and I am sure we all felt very comfortable / except our quite full stomaches :) /. This man from far suddenly was like our old friend. We spent beautiful hours just speaking, listening and understanding.

In the evening, we accompanied our guest and we really missed him. Of course we exchanged emails and we are still in contact. I think everybody makes advertisement for his country, now I think about Japan just in lovely way because I met a lovely person from Japan. I hope Mr. Michio thinks the same way about my country...

7 comments:

Marco van de Kamp said...

He Ivana, great post, thank you for sharing this with us. It's great that you had such great experiences with mr. Michio.

He might read this story and senta reply, who knows...

Chris said...

Hi Ivana,

This sounds like the True Travellers For Travellers way of life! Excellent! Keep on surprising yourself! ;-)

best regards,
Chris

Quing said...

Hi Ivana!

Thanks for sharing. It must be really good experience!

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