Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I have some travelling lined up for this year (but more about that at a later time)... 
Anyway, I've been thinking about travelling and remembering good times in places 
both familiar and strange to us. In particular, I've been remembering one day (10 
years ago now!) when we decided to stop off in Tokyo on our way back from another 
trip to have a quick look around. We had no travel book, no prior knowledge. We 
thought we'd just walk around for the day then head back to the airport on our way 
home. But we were totally unprepared for just how far out of our frame of reference 
Tokyo would be and were totally lost in no time at all...

And then we were saved... A lovely gentleman approached us and asked
if we needed help. We had about three words in Japanese and he had even less
in English, but somehow we managed to communicate that we wanted to see
some local sights. And this is when the magic happened... the most extraordinary
kindness we've ever encountered in any of our travels. This gorgeous lovely man
decided to be our guide for the day.

He hailed a cab and took us to a temple... He took us to a carnival with rides and
street performers... He took us to places to eat and showed us beautiful local 
architecture and sights... And for that entire day, he would not let us pay for a single
thing. (We tried several times but he wouldn't hear of it).

At the end of the day he wanted us to come back to his home and have dinner
with his family but we had a plane to catch, so he took us to the station for the
airport train and stood on that platform waving us goodbye as we glided out of the
station. Have you ever heard of such kindness?

Thankfully, I had the forethought at the time to get his name and address before 
we parted and sent him a thank you letter (which I had translated into Japanese) 
and some photos of our day together. I sent them all off but didn't hear from him 
again. I'm ashamed to say I've totally forgotten his name now, but I'll never forget 
him. I think of this lovely man often and his incredible kindness. He is such an 
inspiration for me and has been the impetus for my own behaviour towards 
travellers in our city.

Anyway, there's no particular point I want to make... I just wanted to share
this amazing day and wish us all beautiful times in the year ahead :)


  1. What a great story Kylie! And what a dear man to help you then act as tour guide (and paying - hello!). Thankfully there are still lovely people like this man in the world.

  2. Wow, that is the sweetest thing... you do realise that you probably made his day too!

    When we were on holiday in Paris, we decided to go out & explore the suburb... we took to foot & walked & walked, we stopped occasionally to look at a map but whenever we did the locals always offered us help - we didn't need their help but their kindness made our day!

  3. What a fantastic story. I was once shown, under sadly very different circumstances, extreme kindness of strangers in a foreign city. And to this day think of those people often, it is a rare and wonderful thing. And I agree it does affect you future behaviour towards fellow travellers.

  4. What a beautiful story! Just when things happen that make you sad and dispirited, you hear something like this, and you know that people are truly good at their core.

  5. what a wonderful story and what a wonderful man. Really special. And so happy he was there to help you, and it souds like he was too xo

  6. A pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing, now I will smile my way through my day :)

  7. Some people are so giving! I love this recount of your travels.

  8. Wow! What an adventure and what an act of kindness! It is a beautiful reminder of the power of giving.

  9. Thanks to that man. So nice Kylie. thanks for sharing this wonderful experience. Xo
    ~ Herman Swan

  10. wow. there are people i often think of from my travels. it's funny to think of them floating around somewhere out there. i wonder if they ever think of me too. and how gorgeous do your girls look! so cute. x

  11. Hi there Paravent Style Meister, how is it going? I've had a self imposed break from blog world (coming to an end now) and have been itching to have a peek at the world through Paravent lenses. Not disappointed of course. Looks like you've been busy - I've missed you! Loving all the neon (I just can't get enough of that) and glad to hear you're 'buzzed' for 2013. Me too - can't wait to get back to blogging and sharing creativity online with others again! Paravent topping the list of course :)
    Happy New Year, i'll be watching this space!
    Jo xxx

  12. What a wonderful story, especially in a day and age when you often can't trust the random stranger on the street to have your best interests at heart. Such a great experience to hold on to!

  13. what a wonderful story Kylie, something that you never forget and will cherish for the rest of your life.

  14. i love this story. what a magical day. i immediately thought of the scence in amelie where she guides the blind man across the road and down the street, describing it through her eyes as she goes - so much magic!! thanks for sharing kylie. sweet travels in 2013 xx

  15. Have you come across the Lonely Planet book of short stories called the Kindness of Strangers? A collection of true stories written by a variety of well-known people about their extraordinary encounters with strangers while travelling. It is a superb read, particularly if you have travels planned. A friend gave it to me before I left for Berlin and I just loved it.

    1. Thanks Carmel - lovely suggestion :) I'll look it up. Kx