No Longer Strangers

“Hey, do you have five minutes? I’d like to do your hair for free!”
The question hit me by surprise as I was walking around the duty free area at the airport. Normally, I’m not a person who likes to be sold something to and I’m not into beauty products either, but I had some time until boarding and the guy just looked too friendly, so I agreed.

I expected him to tell me about some fancy new product which would make my life so much better. I expected him to sell me something I’d regret later on.

I didn’t expect what happened next.

He brushed my hair and started to straighten it. I am too lazy to do it most of the time, so I really enjoyed this extra service.
He asked me where I was going and what my life was like. We chatted about big city life and international food and how different people were. We exchanged the best advice on where to travel next.
He told me that he was from Bulgaria and how he had left his home country to start a career as a styling artist in New York City. And how he had ended up in a small place like Stuttgart. He admitted that he really struggled to connect with the always fast-paced, efficient and often brisk Germans.

We did not talk one word about beauty products or sales.

The ‘five minutes’ turned into twenty minutes and I left with straight smooth hair and a really big smile on my face. “Thank you for this treat”, I said as I walked out the booth. “No, thank you”, the guy replied. “I wanted to do your hair, but I got something much better: A real conversation with a nice person. You truly made my day.”

It doesn’t take much to change someone’s day for the better.
Little gestures, a few words – that’s all it takes to make someone feel welcome. You’re no longer a stranger. You belong.  
Why don’t we do it more often?

Writing for Five Minute Friday today.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

12 thoughts on “No Longer Strangers”

  1. What a cool experience! I usually never make eye contact with these people because I’m afraid of being given the hard sell–and I’m an easy target :/. How wonderful that you accepted God’s nudge to make contact with a stranger!

  2. Such a cool story! I’m glad you took the time to stop and look in the end you both were blessed! I think we can all learn from this lesson. I’m in the 65 spot this week.

  3. Why don’t we do it more often? It’s so simple! You’ve inspired me to look for opportunities to welcome others. Great story! Thank you for sharing! Cindy from #fmf FB page

  4. Oh my goodness…. This is possibly the best story I have read in a long, long time. May we all rebel against the “way things are” and aspire to be more like this guy. Human connection really is everything! Thanks for sharing this as a part of FMF. I LOVED it (and am subscribing)

  5. What a gift! I love this story.

    Great to meet you on my website too. Goodness, you are a world citizen! What stories you must be able to tell. We enjoyed 8 German au pairs when the kids were young, and got to spend 2 weeks travelling around in a motorhome… Bless you!

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