Most weeks, I work from home on Mondays and Fridays and go to our biggest customer's office from Tuesday to Thursday. To get there and back, I take the train, changing lines half way through. When everything goes according to schedule, I never spend more than 10 minutes on either train, which is why I never look for a seat but remain standing near the door. There's plenty of time to sit down for the rest of the day, when I am at my desk, in the canteen for lunch or in a meeting.
Yesterday on my way home, while I was waiting for my train I blew my nose. This often ends with a nosebleed (always on the left side), and the same happened yesterday. It did not worry me because it usually stops quickly enough, and I know I could simply have the weak blood vessel responsible for the frequent bleeding dealt with at the surgery, but so far, I've not done anything about it.
Of course I never travel without tissues, and so I held one to my nose and got on the train like that.
The bleeding had as good as stopped by the time I had to change trains, but just to make sure I really wouldn't be dripping blood on my smart business outfit, I still kept the tissue to my nose on the second train.
That second train was unusually packed for the time of the day, and there were no seats (not that I wanted one) and no standing up space available near the door.
So I walked a bit further into the carriage and stood where I could hold on to a handrail with one hand, the other hand still clutching the slightly bloody tissue.
A young man looked at me for a moment, then offered me his seat. I thanked him but declined the offer, giving him what I hope was a reassuring smile and saying that I was alright.
It was such an unexpected act of kindness; I hardly ever witness anyone offering a seat to someone on the train, and I certainly did not take this gesture for granted - you can tell I find it worth mentioning here on my blog.
This morning, someone else was on the receiving end of a (very) small act of kindness - this time from me.
I was on my way to another customer and had 10 minutes to spare at the station. A woman had trouble using the ticket machine, so I helped her. I still had plenty of time to get my own ticket, but a couple behind me obviously was in a bit of a hurry. Although it would have been my turn now, I told them to go ahead of me and buy their ticket. They were very surprised and thanked me profusely. I admit I would have never done it had I not had time to spare, so I don't think I was really that kind - I didn't sacrifice anything, unlike the young man yesterday who was ready to give up his seat for me.
Makes me think, stuff like that.