What is the most humane gesture you have ever encountered?
As the day wore on and it was approaching night time the weather grew cold and of course it began to rain. Luckily for me I had a trash bag to put over my backpack and a poncho but….It began to pour and black clouds were pushed from the mountains and there was thunder and lightning and I was wondering what to do.
I sucked it up and kept walking.
About a half hour later I heard someone shout „Buna!”
I do not know much Romanian, but I do know Hello at least. I turned and a man in his late 50s or early 60s stood in the rain smiling with an umbrella beckoning me.
I was hesitant at first but was happy to take shelter under the umbrella. He started speaking more Romanian but I couldn’t figure out what he was saying, but he grabbed my hand and started leading me to a tiny little house in the distance which I passed earlier. It had some goats and sheep out front.
I was on edge the whole time, scared to where this might lead. But he was kind and slowly walked me to the house. Inside the house there were the basic commodities and his wife. He sat me down on a chair, brought me a blanket, his wife brought me some tea and bread and seeing that I was taken care of sat down across from me and read a book while his wife knitted something.
It was very weird. It felt kinda surreal and dreamlike. A cozy little cottage, tea, nice elderly people that for some reason reminded me of the couple in the movie „The Princess Bride”, you know the one „Have fun storming the castle” and „He’s only mostly dead”.
I said „mulțumesc” which is Thank You and they smiled and nodded. It was awkward just sitting there with two strangers eating their food. When I was finished the wife beckoned me to a back room where there was a wash basin, soap, etc where I could wash myself if I wanted. I politely refused but she just walked away and closed the door.
I stood there for some time pondering. I opened the door and peaked out and they were just sitting there by the fire talking.
I undressed keeping my bra and panties on at least and washed up. I was pretty muddy. After I was done I put on some dry clothes and went back out to greet them. We sat by the fire and after a while they would point at something and say ____ in Romanian, teaching me a bit of their language, laughing a bit if I butchered a word. I played some checkers with the man and as the night wore on I started to yawn, so the wife once again helped me up and led me to an adjacent room where there was a tiny little cot. I refused again, asked if I could sleep in the living room, but she wouldn’t have no as an answer and once again walked away.
I lay in the bed for some time my mind racing with crazy thoughts like they’re insane psycho murderers and would kill me in my sleep lol. There was no door for this room so I was able to watch and hear what they did. About 20 minutes later they to went to bed. I stayed up for about an hour before dozing off.
I awoke the next morning and was greeted with a pleasant aroma of fresh bread, meat, and yummy goodness.
They made me breakfast the wife stood by her work showing it off smiling with pleasure. I said thank you and sat down. Her husband showed up and we all sat and ate. Not much talk. But it was good.
When finished I helped with the dishes but I soon noticed something that brought me to tears.
While putting the dishes away I noticed that they had pretty much used up all their food to make me breakfast. Me. Some random stranger who could barely speak their language and tell them how truly grateful I was. The honey they put on the bread was gone. I just couldn’t bear it and I started crying profusely.
The wife put her arms around me like a mother would her child to console me and made motions to not worry about it.
It was time to head back out on the road and I promised to them I would repay them for their hospitality, though I doubt they understood me.
I hit the road, the sun shining, and them standing in the doorway like the picture above smiling and waving goodbye. I half imagined the wife to yell out „Have fun storming the castle”!
I never made it to the castle. I turned myself around and headed back to town. I got there and and quickly bought food with the remaining cash I had and got a ride by carriage of all things back to the cottage of the couple.
I gave them the food I purchased and made their day as they made mine. Some of the nicest people I have ever met.
Afterwards I went back to town and found jobs to do to earn some cash to move on.
I have received shelter before in other countries but never to such an extent. The hospitality shown was above and beyond and the whole experience was almost magical.
O wow! I am overwhelmed with this sort of response and lovely comments! Thank you all so, so much! You are too kind!