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Kindness of Strangers

In 1973, I traveled to Germany as a 19-year-old student. At the time, I had a congenital heart defect that hadn't yet been surgically corrected. After a 13-hour charter flight, I landed in Frankfurt-am-Main. I had to catch a train in Frankfurt to reach my final destination, Kassel-am-Fulda in Hesse.

I had to move pretty quickly from one part of the railway station to another, lugging this HUGE suitcase (I'd packed for 6 weeks in Germany), and by the time I got where I needed to be I was wiped out. I must have looked pretty bad, because a kind lady asked if I was all right. I explained the situation as best I could--my German was pretty good back then--and the lady found a bench for me to lie down on and bought me a packet of German short-breads (I still remember the brand, Butterkeks). Then she left to go about her own business. I never did learn her name. I got to Kassel fine and had a wonderful six weeks. This lady's kindness was a fabulous introduction to Germany.




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