Due to my lack of foresight, I had overloaded my luggage with second-hand books that I had purchased from a flea market. I should have bought them on the day of my departure and not arrival but I could not resist the books that were beckoning me with their seductive words and dog-eared covers. With my back shrieking in protest at the overwhelming burden, I lugged my trolley luggage towards the hostel. It was a couple of miles from the train station where I started out from but the thought of taking public transport or the cab never crossed my mind. I wanted to savor the sights and sounds of the locality en route to my destination.
I had overestimated myself. Within ten minutes, I found myself panting heavily and struggling futilely with the two stubborn pieces of luggage. It was a nightmare. Despite the chilly breeze, beads of perspiration formed on my forehead and I wiped them off with the back of my hand. Realizing I had not made much progress in terms of distance, I decided to flag for a cab instead but none was in the vicinity. As I continued my arduous journey, I looked over my shoulder from time to time, hoping a cab would miraculously pull alongside me.
“Hello there, do you need a ride to your hostel?” A cheery voice hit me.
It belonged to an amiable middle-aged lady driving a rundown car. My heart skipped a beat. My prayers were answered at last! Soon, the elation evaporated as caution prevailed. Of late, there had been numerous horror reports worldwide about hitching rides from strangers. I was not savvy enough to discern if the friendly-looking lady in front of me was a kind Samaritan or a devil in disguise.
“Hop right in! The hostel is a considerable distance away,” she continued. “And your luggage seems very heavy.”
Finally, throwing caution to the wind, I accepted her gesture of good will. Throughout the ten-minute ride, she gave a brief introduction of the tourist attractions I should look out for and even gave me a map of the locality she kept in her glove compartment. She had treated me with nothing but kindness and a tinge of guilt stabbed at me for my suspicion earlier.
“You’ve come to the right place for your backpacking trip!” she smiled as she pulled up right beside the hostel. “I hope you’ll enjoy your stay here!”
“Thank you!” I replied as a feeling of warmth I had never experienced before flooded through me. “I’m very sure I’ll enjoy my stay here.”