Chance Encounters

I witnessed an exchange on the bus that nearly made me cry in public today.

I was waiting for a bus. When it arrived, a handful of people swarmed towards the door (not unlike moths being drawn to light). I noticed an elderly gentleman shaking as he was walking, so I took the tail end so he wouldn’t have to be the last one on the bus.

As he made his way down the bus aisle, a younger woman in her late-twenties gave up her seat for him since she was in priority seating.

At first, he tried to reject it and say “it’s ok”, but honestly, you glance at him and just know he’ll topple over if the bus screeches to a sudden stop. In Korea, that’s 100% going to happen on a bus so eventually he sat down and said thanks.

Now, this lady was holding a birthday cake. The little gramps who just sat down looked up at her face and at her cake, his eyes flickering back and forth as if he was watching a table tennis match. About after a minute of doing that, he finally gestures at her cake and his lap, telling her she should let him hold it.

She declines once, but after he insists, she slides the cake into his arms. It’s kind of like gift giving here. People will deny it at first to be polite, but if you insist, they accept it because it’s what you want.

Anyway, he holds onto the cake and as the bus ride gets rougher, he clenches the cake tighter. Eventually, he took his right hand off to hold onto a pole in order to stabilize himself.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just in a sappy “the world is amazing” mood, but this encounter made my heart feel so happy and I almost cried because it was so… endearing?

There he is! He’s so tiny.

I was also only able to see this exchange because I got off on the wrong stop. I thought I had passed my stop because I took a different bus than usual, so I got off. Turns out that specific bus loops around. ANYWAY the point is, if I hadn’t gotten off to transfer, I never would have witnessed this.

Lately, I’ve experienced so many moments like this. Sure, I’m taking more wrong turns than usual, but I always end up appreciating what I find due to missing stops or getting off early.

It’s just a reminder that life’s gonna take you where you need to be, so don’t stress TOO hard if things don’t seem to go your way.

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