Day Seven – Kindness of Strangers

I woke up from the bus ride. It was 8am and we were already at the city of Solo and Yogyakarta was an hour away. The night before, I made a friend on the bus. She studied at a university next to the one where I would be having my two-week program.

She was kind enough to help me figure out how to take the bus from the stop to the university. I must say that I cannot be more grateful for having her assistance. Having gone to Yogyakarta before, I knew that the inter-city bus system was fine. When we got there, however, the buses and stops looked like they aged 20 years since the last time I was there. Also, this newfound friend paid for my fare – I can’t help but be grateful, really, for the generosity of strangers all throughout this trip of mine.

I got off the bus then walked around the university, trying to find the house where I would be staying along with several other people. One of the students arrived earlier than myself and she also came from Bali. Coincidentally, we were in the same neighborhood and if I decided to stay longer, we would have met as one of my hostel mates invited me to join her for a yoga session – and she was there!

As other students started coming in, it was already lunch time. I had a few money left and so I went with them. Fortunately, we found a cheap place to have our lunch so I got to enjoy a nice meal. Moreover, I looked forward to the evening as there would be a welcome dinner. I had great expectations that I would be eating at an awesome restaurant and that the dinner would be paid for.

Evening came and I found out that not only was the food mediocre, it was not free. I had no money. I could not pay for the meal that I just ate. I had two choices: swallow my pride and ask for help from a stranger, again! I had been lucky so far, without having to lose my pride, but the life lessons from this trip would just keep coming.

I approached one of the Filipinos that night, asking for his help to cover my expenses. He agreed. I was saved from utter humiliation at the restaurant, but I still had no idea where I would be getting the money to pay him when we all get back to the house. Maybe I could put off paying him until the next day?

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