Jump at chances, someone once told me. That’s what I did when a Chinese roommate in the dorm in Toronto invited me for a spontaneous dinner with her friends. A gesture of kindness that ended in a fun and intercultural evening.
At Tartu College Student Residence in Toronto, students stay in suites. Each suite consists of five or six tiny single rooms. The residents of a suite share a large kitchen and two bathrooms. In summer, tourists can live here. I spent two nights in such a suite – and quite unexpectedly experienced a piece of China.
I had just parked my backpack, made my bed and enjoyed the view on Toronto’s skyline from the 16th floor. I then wanted to get out on the street to explore the surroundings. Simultaneously with me, a young Chinese woman left the suite. She was happy about having someone new stay in the suite – albeit for only two nights. The other three girls in the suiteare students at the college and permanent residents, I learned. We left the building together and walked each our way.
When I returned an hour later, I met the student again. She and another resident of the suite had invited friends to cook and eat together, she said. I was cordially invited to come. Two hours later we sat together in the overheated kitchen (there was no air conditioning), the students cooked, told me about their student life and about China, wanted to know everything about my trip. There was tofu, fried chicken, vegetables, rice, and iced tea that I had contributed. I didn‘t want to come empty-handed.
Fork Instead Of Chopsticks
I was allowed to use the only fork in the suite. We exchanged about funny foods in our home countries. I mentioned chicken feet as something that I find very strange and earned laughter for it. The girls found German dumplings (Knödel) strange which I really don’t understand. In short, it was a very nice, fun and inspiring evening.
I myself was able to receive a gesture of kindness this evening. Without knowing me and knowing that I’m only staying for a short time, the students invited me to share their dinner and their time with and enriched my travels with a beautiful experience. Thank you!
Random Acts of Kindness
During my travels I have learned two things:
1. Those who have the least often give the most.
2. There are friendly people everywhere. There is always a story behind selfless action. It deserves to be told and collected as Random Acts of Kindness.
Inspired by @TheKindnessGuy