The kindness of strangers

If I’ve learned anything on my travels, it is to be able to pivot and find joy when the unexpected happens.

My friend and I got an early-ish start so that we could drive far to the east. We found a coffee house that opened before the others, and I was trying to direct us through the narrow, twisty streets of Torshavn, and the most unexpected happened.

The solution involved the best of Faroese hospitality: an apprentice construction worker, a family of three, a mother in law, two police officers, two fire fighters, two neighbors, a representative of the Icelandic embassy, and a group of tourists.

When I travel, I like to try to get a true flavor of what it would be like to live in a place. This I did today.

When we got our car stuck while trying to turn around, a series of Faroese strangers helped us negotiate our challenge.

A young apprentice helped us call the police for help.

A neighboring family invited us into their home for coffee, tea, and morning buns.

As we rested, their mother in law watched out the window for the firefighters to come and figure out how to pull the car out of its overhanging position.

The firefighters took our payment with their visa card reader, and two hours later, we were on our way.

My heart is full with the generous kindness and hospitality that could have become a trip tragedy into a time for experiencing the fullness of being loved by neighbors, and strangers now are friends.

3 thoughts on “The kindness of strangers

  1. No doubt all involved will be telling and retelling this story, the one about the “two lovely American ladies who had to have their car rescued from the ledge.” I suspect it will become funnier and more complex as the years go by. When their grandchildren hear it, they will have images of a small car dangling over a precipice while the brave Faroese firefighters strategize how to heft it back onto the road while their grandparents calm and comfort the frantic Americans. You, my fortunate friend, will be part of a Faroese folk legend and your story will be used to teach the island children about the gift of hospitality!


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