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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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The kindness of strangers [20100517|21:33]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |foreign]

Sunset over Noordwijk aan Zee


I walked down to the beach after dinner this evening to watch the sunset. I strolled along by myself with my hands jammed in my pockets whenever they weren't holding my camera. It looks bright and sunny here, but the wind brings an arctic chill to the evenings. My only company aside from the seagulls seemed to be a man in the distance hunting for pretty razor clam shells, lifting them up to appreciate them and then dropping them back to the sand. I found a quiet spot to stand and wait for the sun to approach the horizon.

As I focused on the sunset, I suddenly noticed someone approach me. It was the shell-hunting man, gesturing at his binoculars. "Alstublieft," he said, which is "excuse me" or "please" in Dutch. Then he spoke rapidly, and I gathered from the combination of gestures and the word "schoen", which I think means "beautiful" as it does in German, that he was trying to tell me, "Look at the sunset through these. So lovely!" I answered, "Dank u well" in my poor accent and took them from him. I looked at the sun. He was right. I could see it so clearly, bleeding into the limb of the Earth. "Schoen," I agreed. He laughed in delight, and spoke further in Dutch. I smiled and shook my head, indicating my lack of comprehension. He nodded, and said in thickly accented English, "Enjoy it." I smiled and spread my hands to show my appreciation and happiness. He smiled back and bounced off down the beach, bending over periodically to examine another shell.

I waited until the last golden rays faded to walk back to my hotel, my smart shoes filled with sand.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: polaris93
2010-05-17 21:11 (UTC)
Thank you for this wonderful post. It was one of the most moving I've ever run across. I love sunsets -- and I love those who love them, as well, even more. God bless you for making my day a lot brighter.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:29 (UTC)
That's very kind of you. I'm grateful you found joy in it.
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[User Picture]From: polaris93
2010-05-22 02:15 (UTC)
:-D
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2010-05-17 22:51 (UTC)
Perfect. Thank you
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:14 (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:12 (UTC)
Thank you. I'm glad you found it so.
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From: alice_mccoy
2010-05-18 09:01 (UTC)
There is a piece in the novel Shogun where two bitter enemies meet before a battle. They sit and share a sunset together. Its a very strong image.

As for the kindness of strangers such simple moments are often remembered. Years ago I went skiing but had to leave the piste as I had a case of the 'exhausted shakes'. I staggered off the ski lift and made my way down an icy and snowy slope to the hotel. I managed to get into a position where I couldn't go backwards and had to step down about 15 inches onto the path which was rather daunting. I wasn't there for more than two seconds when a passing stranger just stepped towards me, put one arm round my waist, took my other arm and I stepped down, he let go and walked on not missing a breathe of his conversation with friends. I thanked his swiftly departing back. Any other outcome would have been a slip, trip or exhausted stumble.
He still makes me smile.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:23 (UTC)
Oh, thank you for sharing that. I'm glad this little moment inspired you to draw this one out of your memory.
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[User Picture]From: swerve
2010-05-18 14:53 (UTC)
This is wonderful.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:10 (UTC)
It was a fantastic experience, both at the meeting and outside it. I think it'll be a very happy memory to revisit many times.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:11 (UTC)
I'm glad it resonated with you too. :-)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-05-21 21:10 (UTC)
If it weren't for the arctic chill of the winds, I'd be angling to move there in a flash.
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