Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday reminder Portland-style

The kindness of a stranger can make an impact on those not used to it. Example given is from yesterday. Parking in downtown Portland around 11th and Taylor, I approached the kiosk to punch in my time and credit card so as to receive the parking sticker to place on the car window. (Note to the city: thank you for the replacement machines that take credit card! Woot! Woot!) Another person parked nearby was returning to his car, and offered his sticker for the remaining time left. It was just enough time for us to take our visiting guest from out of the country to tour and visit Portland's amazing Central Library. I thanked the guy and put my credit card away, to put his sticker in my window, gracing us with almost two hours of parking time.

The look on our guests' face was classic. Shock, disbelief, and repeating that this would never happen in her country. I smiled and said that Portlanders were just like that. Her amazement continued for hours, and I know this story is one she'll carry with her back home. She said several times afterwards that people here are different.

I agree. They are. And it's a good reminder.

And as for the library? The look of amazement and awe around a room devoted to children's books, or the beautiful art on the stairs, or a periodical solely about African Violets!—I'm grateful to live in this city. Full of free books and the kindness of strangers to share their parking sticker.

Portland made me proud this weekend.


Kathryn said...

I love it here too; it's a lovely place with lovely people like you and AdRi!

Anonymous said...

Kindness just warms me to my toes. Thanks for this lovely story.

(This kind of thing never would have happened in S. Florida. It is so great to live here.)

Anonymous said...

That is such a Portland thing to do. Just like handing over a bus transfer ticket with time left on it to someone that asks. We live in a good place!

Anonymous said...

I agree--very typically Portland.

And doesn't our library just kick around the block all the asses of all other libraries?

Anonymous said...

I always give my meter sticker away if it has time left. I also like to checkout the folks driving around in a busy parking lot on my way back to my car. When I see someone who smiles or looks a little frustrated, I tell them where I'm parked and wait until they are behind my car before approaching it so they can have my spot. It usually goes to the elderly.

Mom taught me well.

Lynne said...

Portlanders/Oregonians and Texans are so proud of where they live (more so than any other place that I have been to). I think it is great that you are so happy with your city.
Giving away parking stickers is a great way to "stick it to the man" because before the "parking stations" others could benefit from your extra time but now they have it set up that no one can and they are getting all the extra cash. However, I don't think they ticket as often so maybe it always equals out...
Happy Holidays!

Jay said...

I agree with Lynne; Texas is another state that always has the hand of kindness extended. Unless of course you're black.

The kindness here in the NW is pretty infectious too. When one of these simple acts happens to me, I use it as a great reminder of how easy they are to do, and inevitably end up doing the same for someone else.