this is a letter to the man i met at bubbles, a laundromat in budapest.
dear man in the striped shirt who showed me such kindness,
THANK YOU. thank you for proving me wrong in my stereotypes of hungarian men.
your laundry needed a wee bit longer to dry and you knew that my stuff was in the washers, just waiting for an empty dryer.
you had seen me sitting on the couch, typing away on my ipad sending emails and writing drafts of blogs.
you had seen me get agitated with the woman at the attached coffee shop when she wouldn’t give me change for the coke i wanted to buy – and you knew how i was feeling because i had just seen you go through it ten minutes earlier.
you saw me leave and then return, frustrated but holding a coke and some change, only to have my face drop when i saw that all the dryers had been taken.
you knew i needed that change from buying the coke to operate the machine, and you knew that i was dissapointed in having to wait even longer for my clothes to be done.
and so, in the midst of your dry-cycle, you came over and spoke to me – first in hungarian and then, when i tried to respond and tell you that i couldn’t speak hungairna (IN hungarian), you chuckled kindly and switched to english.
then you offered me the rest of your drying time because your clothes were almost ready and you knew that i had been waiting a while. you were so sweet in your offer and even helped me to switch my clothes over into your dryer when you were done, quickly so that the dryer didn’t realize that we were tricking it.
you didn’t look down on me, you were just kind to me. it felt like we were cheating the system together and i loved it.
so thank you man in the striped shirt, who’s accent sounded strangely italian as opposed to hungarian, for your random act of kindness today. it means the world to me.
i wish you, and your freshly laundered towels, well.
all the best,