The border officer who happily pottered about in French when he read where I was from on my customs declaration. Bonjour ! Au revoir ! Merci ! The person who saw me peering at the map outside of the station and asked me what I was looking for and pointed me the right direction. I know how it feels, they said, I arrived five hours ago. The woman at the bus stop who gave me tips on how to navigate the public transport system. The security officer who let me in the Wells Fargo even though it had closed, already, so I could get some cash out to buy myself a ticket. The patron at Subway who saw that I was on Struggle Street, big time, trying to get in with my heavy suitcase and who rushed over to hold the door open for me; the cashier who rung up my double-chocolate cookie and called it a delicious cookie, are you sure you don’t want another? The bus driver who waved me in and let me hitch a ride because I didn’t have the right amount of change.
Travelling alone is so overwhelming, I told them, but it makes me so, so grateful for the kind people.