Sunday, December 4, 2022

urban kindness--it happens

No heroism, no dramatic sopranos, no red capes. Just people being nice. 

I met a friend for an impromptu catch-up-on-news in a pub and we talked and we talked. Although I'd pulled out my shabby wallet that must be 20 years old because the store where I bought it has been reinvented several times since, she paid--very nice!--and we admired her new, chic turquoise wallet from Germany. We hugged and said bye. Our schedules don't often crisscross, so this was fun.   

I was walking toward the metro but there's also a bus that would get me directly home, except it doesn't go by often. But yay! it was coming. I reached into my bag for my bus pass. It wasn't in the little pocket where it should have been. It wasn't in the corners deeper down, the outside pocket, my jeans, my coat. I was rooting through all the different possible pockets, beginning to feel like a Dr. Seuss story. 

I told the driver that I was looking for my bus pass. He said he could see. The only place I hadn't checked was under my clothes. He told me to sit down, it was okay. But it wasn't okay, because where was it? I kept patting my pockets and digging through my bag. At which point I realized that my house key was also gone. The key itself, okay, I have another one at home, but the key fob is a hand-painted ceramic knob a friend gave me.  

I needed to tell someone that I had lost my house key too!! But everyone around me was avoiding looking at this dotty woman who was squishing her pockets and checking for holes and poking her fingers into the corners of her bag. So I went back to the front to tell the driver that I'd lost my house key too. "C'est pas ta journée, Madame." Actually, I'd had a great day, I just happened to have lost my bus pass and my house key on its special gewgaw that I loved. 

I realized that I mustn't have closed the zipper after taking out my wallet in the pub and then upended the bag. I called the pub and left a flustered, crazy-sounding message on the answering machine, asking them if they could please check under the table for my key and metro pass. Have I mentioned this yet? It was Friday evening, a popular bistro/pub downtown, and the place was packed when we left. People were waiting for our table. Did the busy waitstaff have time to go looking under tables for my key and bus pass? I hadn't even given them the right table. I said I was sitting against the west wall. When I got home and was telling R, he asked me to be more specific about where I was sitting. So, okay, I can't tell left from right, east from west. I'm directionally challenged. No news flash there. R said I was sitting on the east side. 

I was too embarrassed to call the pub back and admit that someone who was old enough to be served liquor couldn't even say where she was sitting. R offered to call and this time someone answered and said yes, indeed, they'd found my bus pass and key--no comment as to where it was found. 

It's no big deal but I'm chuffed people care enough. Merci to the bus driver who let me have a free ride and a huge thank you to NYKs with their excellent food and drinks. You can find NYK's on Bleury south of Sainte-Catherine. (I think it's south.)


  1. I was so delighted by the ending to your story!

  2. So glad there was a happy ending! I once had someone deliver my driving licence and medicare cards (dropped out of my not-properly-zippered backpack) to my home before I got home! Yay for lovely people.

  3. Great story, Alice. There is still a lot of kindness in people despite all the bad news we hear!
    Cheers, Usha

    1. Thanks, Usha. Nice to see you here! I hope you're keeping well.