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This is a question Random Acts of Kindness

Crackhouseceilidhband asks: Has anyone ever been nice to you, out of the blue, for no reason? Have you ever helped an old lady across the road, even if she didn't want to? Make me believe that the world is a better place than the media and experience suggest

(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 13:03)
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Honeymoon train disaster turned good
My newly wed wife and I were booked first class to Inverness to go stay in a cottage in the Highlands for a week of malts and nookie - but Network Rail had other ideas. Our train was cancelled, and the booked seats and meals along with it, because the line to London was borked (some power failure - maybe stolen cables, who knows) around Stevenage. The advice we got was to go north as far as we could and see what we could do when we got there.
Fair enough, thinks I, power failures happen. Worst case, I can get us a hotel wherever we end up, and then haggle with the train company to cover our expenses further. Mrs LittleFaith was not taking the set back so well, but we had to make do. Off we went.

On the train, belligerently sat in our (no longer) reserved seats, all the chat was about how awful it was to be buggered about in this manner. We chatted a little with an elderly lady from the Highlands about her frequent journeys to and from London on the route. The single member of train staff on the journey was helpful and informative - but there wasn't much she could do.

As we went north, the messed up schedule caused more and more problems - the carriages got crowded more than usual, because everyone wanted to get aboard this sole train. Some people got on and demanded to sit in their reserved seats - which were also our reserved seats. Tears and upset ensued. Our helpful train staffer was helpful, but new wife and I were having a hard time staying full of the joys of wedlock.

We finally made it to Edinburgh, where the train we were on stopped (unlike the direct journey we'd booked on). Hundred of us piled off and looked for news of another train to get us to where we were meant to be going. Mrs LittleFaith was intermittently quietly crying on the luggage among our fellows, including the nice elderly lady who made the trip so very often.
My phone rang - the car hire company who we were due to pick up our rental from when we arrived. "We have you down to collect today, sir - are you on your way?"
Me - "No, I'm in Edinburgh station, the next train will get me to Inverness by about 2200. Why?"
Rental - "We close in ten minutes, sir."
Me - "But I booked the car for 2100 at Inverness station. It's only ten to six now."
Rental - "Sorry, but we're going to close. Can you collect the car tomorrow?"
Me - "I'm going to need the car to get to my cottage where we're staying. Is there no pick up from [name of hotel where Rental Co booked the original pick up]? Can the keys be left with reception of the hotel?"
Rental - "We don't do rental from that hotel sir."
Naturally, I was upset by this announcement. Their head office had booked me a car pick up from a place that didn't do pick ups, at a time that was after their closing.
Me - [calming down] "Can you deliver the car tomorrow to the cottage? We'll get a taxi there."
Rental - "Let me check..." [takes address] "I'm not sure sir. I'll have to call you back tomorrow, sir."

So I have this new piece of good new to break to the new wife. "We can get the bus or something into Inverness, at worst case - it'll give us a chance to look around."
Nice lady from the train pipes up: "Oh dear, you're not having a good start to married life, are you?"
Not really, no. Thinking she'll have better local knowledge, I ask: "Which station would be best to get to [the hamlet where our cottage is]? We've rented a cottage there. I'd hate to get all the way into Inverness just to go back to one of the stations we pass on the way - I only booked the train there to get the hire car."
Lady - "Let me ask my husband..." - and she gets on her phone.

While this nice elderly lady is on the phone, chatting away, it becomes apparent that she's not just asking her hubby which station is best, but how far our cottage is going to be out of their way. More tears - of relief - from Mrs LittleFaith, as we're offered a lift the sixty miles between Aviemore and our cottage.

So we arrive at a little past midnight, in a retired couple's car, at our honeymoon cottage in the Highlands - and they drive off into the night, never to be seen again, with only our thanks.
It doesn't stop there, though.

The cottage walls and the remote location mean that the hire car company can't call in the morning. I try phoning, but get nowhere. After a while, realising we need to get to a supermarket to get some food, or we'll be trying live on the few choccies and wine we've brought with us for the whole week - I suggest we go ask the neighbours (a little house we can see down the road about half a mile) if we can figure out how to get to Inverness and get our car.

Well, the neighbours called the car hire place for us, and - just because they couldn't get through - gave us both a lift to Inverness, about 40 miles, pointing out the good supermarkets and distilleries along the way, and wouldn't leave us alone till we'd been given our car as booked.

Even as I write this out I'm a little choked by how much it meant to us to be helped like that. I've never been able to thank the lady and her husband, and our neighbours, as much as I think they deserve. It's as if there's an inherent kindness that seems to disappear from the population as you travel back south.

TL:DR - You southerners are all mean cunts compared to the Highlanders.
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 20:17, 7 replies)
Well, well.
Aren't you a pompous, judgemental prick?
(, Thu 9 Feb 2012, 22:50, closed)

(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 11:26, closed)

(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 12:39, closed)
Touchy Southern twat are you?

(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 14:54, closed)
Um, no? At least, I try not to be.
But looking over your history of vitriol on here, it seems like you are the judgemental prick.

Do you know what the word even means?
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 18:06, closed)
I'm incredibly judgemental of many people on here, but I try to keep it on a personal level.
(, Fri 10 Feb 2012, 21:16, closed)
Would it have helped if I'd said
"We southerners" instead of "You southerners"?

I don't often lump myself in with the Normans, but if it'll make someone less spiteful...
(, Sat 11 Feb 2012, 21:24, closed)

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