Stranger in the Night
Exploring the big unknown abroad is a dream of many an exciting and scary dream. As a newly graduated student I was privileged to be able to make that dream a part of my reality. Arriving at Heathrow Airport, I could not imagine that a stranger would change a big part of my life philosophy or that I would refuse a helping hand. Being alone in a foreign country can be scary, but help can come from the most unexpected places.
When I arrived in London, I made my way to Paddington station to take a train out of London to Grays, a town East of London. I had two fully loaded suitcases and a bag, armed with everything to survive anything from an invitation by Prince William to a terrorist attack on a Tube station. That baggage, however, created a big frustration and obstacle to me and more so it seemed for other passengers on the underground. I was pushed, glared at, hollered at and out of breath, physically and emotionally drained as I stood on the train platform, squinting to see the train schedule overhead. I did not have my contact lenses in. I could not see which train would take me to my bed that night. That was when a strange man approached me and offered his help. A typical Cockney lower-class man according to my Hollywood knowledge, complete with the round bald head and bad teeth, a British thug right out of the movies. He asked me where I was going and before I could think I answered him, immediately regretting that I shared any information. He offered to get me and my luggage on the right train, but I refused and ran towards the most likely train.
The stranger followed me; my heart pounded; it could be coincidence. On the train, the stranger pointed out that I should have taken another train if I was going to Grays. I was irritated and scared when he offered to show me. I needed to change trains twice to get on the right