Monday, 23 September 2013

I met a stranger for 20 minutes, and he changed my life.

It's safe to say I spent the majority of the past year sipping coffee at the airport. I honestly believe I'm their most loyal and regular customer. I used to enjoy getting a bus to the airport, in the rain, carrying God knows how many books, ordering the usual and sitting down at the same table overlooking the same view. I'd then open my netbook, my books, and start writing my thesis. This was practically me every weekend.

One very rainy day in November, I decided I needed some change. So after realising I wasn't getting anything done at the airport, I caught the first bus that appeared. Luckily for me and my poor sense of direction, the bus went directly to St.Julians. I entered Mc Cafe. I ordered the usual. I sat down and started working. As usual.

I don't know how much time had passed but after a while, an elderly man sat down next to me. I could see him staring at me, expecting me to talk to him. I looked at him and smiled, and I suddenly realise he was profoundly hearing and verbally impaired. He gestured at his iPad and asked me to fix something that was wrong with it. As soon as I did his eyes lit up, and I honestly can say that that was one of the sweetest sights I've ever witnessed. He gently brought out a small notepad and started jotting something down on it. He handed me the notepad. He wrote about how beautiful Malta was - that its marinas could compare to those in France. I had never took any notice of any of the marinas here in Malta. I'm usually too busy looking at my iPod, at my mobile or at my book to do so. He showed me an email he was writing to his daughters, in which he told them he wished they were here with him, and that Malta was one of the most beautiful countries he had ever visited. He said he missed them. He said he was enjoying his stay in Malta so much. He asked me to proof-read his email, but I guess I was too busy holding back my tears to do so.

He smiled at me and waved goodbye. However before leaving he looked at me in the eyes and brought his notepad out again. He wrote down something quickly - "Don't stress out too much". He handed me his notepad and pen, and all I could write was "I'll try". I made a promise to someone I didn't know, coming from God knows where, and I intend to keep it. This man made a difference in my life. I met someone randomly, for just 20 minutes, and it changed my outlook on life. I realised we're too busy. Too damn busy to realise life is passing us by. Too damn busy to realise we're surrounded by so many beautiful things. Too busy to socialise, to meet someone new.

I packed my things and caught a bus back home. I looked at the marina. I don't know how those in France look, but this one wasn't as half bad as I had thought.

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