Something amazing.

27 03 2008

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. 


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7 responses

27 03 2008
Nilsa S.

Nothing like adding a little pressure to actually show up to yoga class! I think it’s a wonderful custom. It’s funny, but I was without a car for most of college, so I grew accustomed to relying on others for rides, including many states away to get home for the holidays. Once I got a car, I was (and still am) the first to offer people a ride home. Even if it’s in the absolute opposite direction from where I’m headed. Not only is it a nice thing to do when I have nothing else going on, but you can build great friendships based on that time talking in the car. I kid you not! Take them up on their offer – you never know what may come of it!

27 03 2008
Susan

I am ashamed to admit that a girl that worked in my office for a brief 3 months did not own a car and walked everywhere she wanted to go and my selfish self never once offered to drive her. It felt so foreign for a 25 year old woman to not own a car especially in the US.
So nice to see a country that cares about how you get where your going.

27 03 2008
william

I offer rides all the time to people. As long as it is on my way.

27 03 2008
ginacoggio

When I had a car in the States I gave rides to people if they were on my way, and to my students if or when they had special events or something and didn’t have a ride. Last night, though, the man who gave me a ride home lived nowhere near where I live and he kept saying, when I thanked him profusely, “Don’t worry about it! Seriously! No problem!” THAT’s the kind of reaction I wouldn’t get in the States, I think. Or, rather, those kinds of reactions are few and very far between. I don’t really care about not having a car here as I’ve lived for years without cars before, in Boston and here for two years, and it’s just something I get used to. Nothing’s wrong with public transportation. But yesterday, for the second time this week, I heard people say this: “No one takes the bus. That’s for poor people.” Which I thought sounded kind of ignorant and is untrue anyway.

27 03 2008
Citizen D

I loved this story. I too would have been humbled.

27 03 2008
Jennie

Maybe he knew your intestines would move faster than the bus.
: )

27 03 2008
ginacoggio

Ha ha.

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