Saturday, October 17, 2015
After another long day at the office, I was headed home. Since it requires a bit of a tram ride home, I was passing the time with some mindless surfing on my iPhone.
For those not familiar with tram etiquette, you simply get on the tram and sit in any seat that is available. You don’t ask for permission, nor do you acknowledge the person who happens to sit beside you. Antisocial? Perhaps, but after a long day, you sometimes appreciate not having to engage in conversation with a stranger. I have to admit however, this was difficult for the chatty Canadian within me. Initially when I moved here, I tried to engage my seatmates in conversation. It didn’t work. In short, it was unwanted. Perhaps they thought I was crazy, I don’t know.
So back to the end of my very long day. The tram came up to another stop. People were getting on and off the crowded tram and I happened to glance up and notice a particular guy. He was weighed down with a bunch of groceries while also embracing the longest baguettes I have ever seen. It somehow amused me. I wondered what the story was with the cute guy in front of me, and why he dragging around half a grocery store and where he found such massive baguettes. I guess he caught me looking at him, and seized the moment to sit down beside me. My iphone once again regained my undivided attention. That was until he placed the armload of baguettes across my lap. At this moment I glanced over at my seatmate. He met my gaze with a look that I will never forget and with it his eyes pleaded with mine, “I know my baguettes are on your lap, but do you think we could just manage to live through this awkward moment? I would really appreciate it.” Amused I went back to my phone. I could feel the eyes of others on the tram trying as well to make sense of the situation.
So we continued. My stop came first. As we pulled up, I signaled my seat partner that it was now time for me to leave, and that he should probably gather his baguettes. He did. No words were spoken – but somehow, that shared moment touched me. It lightened the weight of the hard day I was carrying and pulled me from the completely self-absorbed moment. I could feel the guy’s gratitude that I didn’t create a drama – both of us well aware of the ridiculousness of the situation.
I don`t know if there was a particular lesson from this odd experience – other than this moment made me happy in some weird way. Perhaps only that sometimes being nice can somehow make the day for everyone involved.