Last night I stayed at yoga until past 10pm for a special class they offer once a week. Afterwards, talking with another student there, I let slip that I take the bus home at night and therefore couldn’t stay for very long last night. He offered to drive me home and then spread the word, much to my embarrassment, that I don’t have a car. He didn’t do this in any kind of malicious way; it was more a “shame on you, Gina, for not asking for a ride” kind of thing. I hate asking for rides because I don’t want to be an inconvenience to anyone and it’s not much of an inconvenience for me to take the bus at all, it just takes a while, especially during rush hour when traffic is nuts. And then, a pretty amazing thing happened. When this student told a professor at the school that I don’t have a car, one professor said to the others, “Gina is always without a car here. We can coordinate rides home for her, if anyone is heading in her direction.” I was awestruck, actually, at the gravity with which he said the words, as if my getting a ride with someone were a really important matter. It meant SO much to me, and I was so amazed at the kindness that seemed to come so naturally. In the US, this kind of thing is not so customary, at least in the places where I’ve lived in the Northeast. But here, it’s common sense and it humbled me.