The Kindness Of Strangers
I just wanted to share this story with you, just to show there is still decent people around.
In December 2014, I had just spent a few days in London and Brighton. Had done lots of travelling up and down between both cities over the few days and basically walked all around the 2 cities as well, I was exhausted by the time I got to Gatwick airport to fly home.
I had to fly to Cork as it was the closest airport I could get to home. I live in Kerry so when I landed in Cork I’d have to get a bus from the airport to the bus station and then get another bus that would take over 2 hours to get home. I’d written down all the bus times and train times just in case I’d miss the bus.
So as I was at the gate waiting to board my flight, I managed to get a seat and I kept dozing off as I was waiting. I actually have no idea how I didn’t break my phone because it was in my hand. My flight ended up being delayed because of bad weather. I checked the time and had plenty of time to make the last bus from Cork to Kerry.
We eventually boarded, I put my carry on in the overhead compartment ( I never travel with checked luggage because I hate waiting around the airport), sat down in my seat and fell asleep like I always do when I’m on a plane. I woke up around an hour later, should nearly be time to land. Nope, wasn’t gonna be that simple. The weather was so bad in Cork that we had to fly around for an extra 30 minutes before we could land. All I could think was “I need this plane to land right now or I’ll miss the last bus and be stuck in Cork for the night”.
Then disaster, we were still in the air and the last bus to Kerry had left the station. I was in a panic. I forgot my Debit Card and only had enough cash on me for the bus home. It was nearly 8pm now and the pilot made an announcement that we would be diverted to Shannon and then a bus would take people to Cork. This of course was no use to me because I needed to get to Kerry. Since we were up in the air, I couldn’t turn on my phone’s internet to check the bus timetable from Shannon Airport to Limerick Bus Station.
Eventually we arrived in Shannon, quickly turned on my phone to check the bus times and I had missed the last bus to the bus station by 10 minutes but I had until 9:35pm to make the last bus from Limerick Bus Station to Kerry. I just needed to find a way to get there. I did the obvious thing and went over to the taxi man. I asked him how much it would be for a taxi to the station, when he said €40, my heart dropped because that’s all I had on me so if I paid him €40 I wouldn’t be able to afford the bus ticket. I was so tired and hungry, all I wanted to do was go home.
I took out my phone and rang my mum, explained the situation but our car had something wrong with it and she wouldn’t be able to drive 2-3 hours in the dark to come get me. I just remember sitting in the airport and I just broke down crying. Then, this older couple who were sitting across the way from me asked me where I was trying to go to. I told them I needed to get to Tralee and they said they wouldn’t be able to bring me to Tralee but they would be able to bring me as far as Abbeyfeale which is only 30 minutes from where I live. My sister said she could come and collect me from there. I was so grateful for this couple.
Minutes later, I got a tap on my shoulder. A woman came up and said she overheard me, she was a taxi driver and was taking two lads into the city and said I could get in the taxi as well. I offered to pay a little but explained I didn’t have much because I needed to get a bus ticket. I thanked the couple who offered to drive me to Abbeyfeale though they weren’t from there, they were just going out of there way to get me closer to home.
I got into the taxi with the two lads and the taxi driver and thanked them so much and explained my travel disaster. The taxi driver dropped off the two lads first and then dropped me to the station. As I was going to pay her what little I could afford, she told me that the two lads had actually paid for me. All I wanted to do was thank them and hug them.
I made the last bus from Limerick to Tralee in plenty of time. Finally got home close to midnight. The first thing I actually did was send out a tweet thanking the two Limerick lads, on the off chance it might get a RT and they might see it.
That couple, taxi driver and those two lads were my Christmas Miracle that year. Complete strangers who were willing to help a random girl out. Also brought to my attention how shit the Irish public transportation system is!