So on the recent SKorea / Japan trip, there were 3 occasions which I helped others.
In SKorea, a few girls asked John and I about how to get to a certain train station; they were international and were only one station away. Fortunately by then, John and I knew were familiar enough with the S Korean transit system that we were able to help them out.
In Japan, a guy from China asked me for help. Not sure why he asked me specifically. He was there for business and spoke good enough English. We worked together in helping him out. He shook my hand afterwards, which was nice.
But the 3rd time of being a Good Samaritan.... that was interesting.
I was on my way back from Osaka. Had to transfer between the shinkansen bullet train and the JR. Getting to the latter, I saw this Caucasian girl with a huge backpack. Figuring that she was a backpacker and probably spoke some English, I decided to make some real small chit chat.
Me: Where to?
Her: Mt Fuji
Me (astonished): From Mt Fuji or to Mt Fuji?
Her: To Mt Fuji
Me: Sounds exciting
And I just walked away. While I was waiting in line, I saw her again. We made eye contact and she came towards me. She wanted to get to Shibuya station and asked me if that was the right train. I told her it was.
On the train, she then asked me if I knew of any parks in Tokyo. It turned out she was planning to find one and camp there overnight. Again, I was astonished. Sleeping outside in a foreign country? Not too surprisingly, she said it was her first time there and she didn't speak the language. I asked her if she had a hotel RSVP and some kind of back-up plan. She said no.
I told her I didn't know the answer to that, about camping outdoors in public in Japan (at least around Tokyo). I suspected that it was not allowed though. If she were to do it, she'd most likely be safe since JP is one of the safest places in the world. However, she'd probably still get ticketed by police. I messaged Hitomi and Erica; both didn't know much about camping out in JP's public either. That also didn't come as a surprise to me.
Not really wanting to abandon this foreign girl in a foreign country that she's been to for the first time, and whose language she didn't speak or write, I told her she can come with me to my hotel in Shinjuku so we can try to find a room for her there. Personally, I had doubts about that and thought about offering my hotel room to crash, but didn't say that just yet. She said ok. Shinjuku was a few more stops, and this girl just had a 19-hour flight from England; you could tell she was tired & sore, especially with that huge backpack. She couldn't sit down b/c it was so big and bulky; and she couldn't take the thing off b/c the train was too crowded. She didn't seem too reassured when I said I wasn't fluent in Japanese (but I definitely knew more than she did).
When we finally got to Shinjuku station, her ticket fare wasn't enough to get out of there (Shinjuku was past Shibuya), but I didn't mind paying the paltry amount of 30 ¥ for her. THEN, we finally introduced ourselves. Her name was Jennifer. I told her that my hotel was a 10 minute walk from Shinjuku station, which she wasn't too happy to hear. So I told her let's exchange backpacks. She wore my Capt America Shield, and I took her backpack. I've never gone backpacking, but I figured for 10 minutes, I could hump along with that ruck.
Back at the hotel, lo and be hold, there weren't any available rooms that night. There was another APA hotel with a free room, but that was another 15-20 min walk away and she didn't feel like paying the 12,000+ ¥ for it. I didn't acquire about any other closer hotels, but chances were, the results were the same. Jennifer finally asked if I could sleep in my room. I told her I was fine with it if she was. Not all girls would be; but since Jennifer's the independent/bold/adventurous type, she had no problems with it.
My room wasn't very big, but it sufficed. Jennifer (who is originally from the Czech Republic but has been in England the past 4 years) was going to spend 10 days in JP and had all these places to go to. Her list contained more places than *I've* been to in my 2 trips to JP! We pulled out her maps and using G-Maps, I helped her find the spots. I also insisted that she find another hotel, at least for the next night. After much searching, she finally found one within her price range and I helped located it on the map.
During this 2 hour process, when I couldn't read her list, she spelled it out to me using the NATO alphabet, which I already know because of my interest of most things military. Plus, since I'm somewhat familiar with kilometers, I used that instead of miles (America is one of the few countries in the world to use the latter). So I'm glad that we were able to communicate somewhat easier.
When we were about to go to bed, Jennifer declined my offer of me sleeping on the floor. She said the bed was big enough for both of us (it was) and she felt comfy enough with me to share a bed with me. So that worked out fine.
The next morning, I got up early and went to the local 7-11 right next to my hotel. I bought her a quick hot dog snack for breakfast since I had to do an ATM withdrawal anyways. Jennifer was thankful for that too. We are both on FB Messenger, so I told her that she could message me if she needed to. So she took off.
Later that same day, while I was hanging out with Erica, I spotted Jennifer at another train station and we briefly reunited. Small world!
Jennifer messaged me later that night, thanking her for all that I've done. So that was nice.
However, she also had NO plans of where to stay at during her visit to Kyoto and Hiroshima. Hitomi, as kind as ever, offered to meet up with Jennifer and to let Jennifer crash at her office for a few days. I still am super grateful to Hitomi, and so was Jennifer (although I still don't know where she's staying at in Hiroshima, as of the time of this writing). John said that Jennifer really is depending on the kindness of strangers, and that she should've planned her trip better. Especially if you're going to a foreign country for the first time, and you don't know the language and such. I agree with him, despite the fact that she's independent and adventurous (JP is like her 13th backpacking trip). So far, based on her Facebook updates, she seems to be okay so far.
So yeah, that was definitely one of the more interesting things about my latest JP trip: sleeping with a complete stranger on the first night I met her. Nothing sexual happened, but it's still interesting nonetheless. I think that's the most Good Samaritan-est thing I've ever done. At the risk of sounding superficial, I'd probably wouldn't have done it if she were a guy or f-ugly. Not that I was looking for a one-night stand or anything, or that I am attracted to her. But since we were sharing the same bed..... yeah.