GIVEN MONEY AT CIGARETTE POINT

The queue at the sandwich kiosk had ground to a halt.

It took a while to notice the difference as the speed it was travelling was not exactly fast in CDG Airport, Paris, France.

Without looking around I can hear the British tourists loudly complaining about the delay to their destination.

Wearing baggy comfortable clothes, apart from the plastered makeup, you could be excused for thinking they had just got up.

The problem at the head of the queue which was getting longer every moment with disgruntled, delayed passengers was that a young Italian couple did not have an international bank card.

Trying the 5th time to swipe their card the cashier asks if they have another way to pay.

The elderly couple in front of me are getting impatient.

Looking embarrassed at each other the Italians apologise and attempt to return their chosen lunch to the shelves.

Before the cashier clears her total and the young couple have lost their place at the head of the queue I approach them and place my lunch down on their tray.

Motioning to the cashier that I will pay for it all, the Italians look clearly astonished.

Before paying with my Nationwide Visa card I ask if they have enough food between them. They nod without saying a word and when we separate from the queue they ask, clearly pleased but embarrassed, “How can they repay me?”

Leading them to a free table in the final waiting area before we embark on our separate ways I inform them of an event that happened to me whilst travelling.

TAKE MY MONEY!!!

Loaded with two rucksacks, a snowboard bag in one hand and a ski bag in the other, two locals of the Rose and Crown, a pub in down town Calgary, Alberta, Canada, open the double doors to me and my travelling companion.

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We had five blocks to walk to where a friend had just finished work and would welcome us to stay for a night.

We had been on the road for a little over a week, snowboarding through the Rocky Mountains, knowing that the next few hundred km’s were going to be flat prairie land we were already miserably missing the mountains.

As the doors of the very English named pub close behind us, the obvious leader of a group of smokers calls us over.

My reaction is to politely refuse, my hands being full of our now redundant mountain sports equipment.Two simple questions later he opens his wallet and tries to hand me 100 Canadian dollars.

If we were to take this offered gift it would have to be my friend who accepts it.

The gentleman pleads with us to take his money; his final words are “Get your selves a haircut.”

We promise to return in an hour and have a drink with the man in question, only to be disappointed when we do get there as he has already gone.

Armed with this extra $100 we feel like kings.

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Whenever we wanted to go somewhere or do something we were always ‘let’s do it,’ we have the extra money. I believe we spent the ‘extra money’ at least seven times.

The very next day we went back to the mountains for one last powder rush before heading to the flat snow covered prairies.

We brought a guitar, had a night on cocktails, hired a car in Winnipeg and drove to the frozen lakes of the north. We sampled fondue and stayed in a remote motel drinking Baileys and Port.

All this we might never have done if it wasn’t for the random act of kindness that served to us a lesson that we were only there once.

Don’t say no.

And as the Italians finished their lunch and the calls for us to go our separate ways came, they promised to repay me by doing something as equally as beautiful for someone else who finds them self in a moment of mercy.

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