Helping strangers is my favorite thing because random acts of kindness are always a little surprising, and the helper has no expectation of repayment.
I encountered a Chinese woman while walking to the parking center from Office Job the other day. She asked for directions to a freeway bus stop, and since it wasn’t far I told her I would just show her. We chatted as we walked; she had just graduation with two masters degrees, loved living in LA (hooray!), and was looking for a job. She was trying to get to El Monte (about 17mi away), and since I had the afternoon off, I offered to just drive her. She said, “Really?! Wow, that is so nice. Thank you so much.” It’s a little crazy to offer a ride to a stranger, but it’s definitely crazier to accept a ride from a stranger. So win-win, right? heh.
She turned out to be super nice. I told her I work with another Chinese woman in my office who asks me questions about American culture and the English language all the time. She jumped on that and asked if I could help her with her English too. Of course! This is my professional future! She and Chinese Office Friend both said I should teach English in China and make bank. Win!
I invited her to come play board games with us at my apartment some time. She seemed really excited about that, and gave me her resume and got my phone number and email before we arrived. After we arrived, she got her things together amid many ‘thank you’s,’ then looked me square in the eye and said, “Thank you for driving me. You have the gift of the god.” I was so touched. I said thank you, and we promised to stay in touch. I’m inviting her to my housewarming next Friday.