An Unexpected Kindness

During our first teaching week in Hangzhou, our SABEH group set out one evening to explore He Fang shopping street. After dining in a local restaurant that had an amazingly delicious dish of cauliflower, we took in the sights and sounds of the shopping street. I enjoyed watching the pounding out of a chewy candy, the playing of a Chinese saxophone, and the grinding of tea all taking place before my very eyes. After meandering through many quaint shops for souvenirs, a trio of us went to hail a taxi to take us back to our hotel. We discovered that getting a taxi to stop for us was not as easy as we thought it would be, as it seemed all the taxi drivers were set on picking up pre-arranged fares. So we headed into a nearby Starbucks to ask for help. Before we could fully explain our dilemma to the young lady behind the counter, a woman sitting with her husband and two children quickly stepped forward to help. She arranged for a taxi using an app on her phone and stayed with us until the taxi arrived and explained that she would be watching our location on the map until we arrived back at our hotel. While we waited a few minutes for the taxi to arrive, she explained that when she had visited America, the people had been very kind and helpful to her, and it was her pleasure to be able to help us. We learned that she was a surgeon who was out with her family after working a 12 hour shift where she completed five surgeries that day. As we were pulling up to the hotel, she called us on the taxi driver's phone to ensure we arrived safely and even contacted the front desk of our hotel to have the staff confirm that we had arrived safe and sound. We are so very touched and grateful for the unexpected kindness of this woman. This generosity of spirit is what you can expect when you visit China.

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