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Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Delayed Reaction

            It’s funny how people react when the unexpected arises when traveling.  Last summer on our way to Montpellier, traffic stopped to a dead halt due to an accident a mile ahead of us.  A helicopter had to land on the highway so cars were at a standstill until it could arrive.  Within moments of stopping, people got out of their cars and started picnicking.  Strangers instantaneously became friends and struck up jovial conversations peppered with roars of laughter.  It reminded me of a tailgate party.
            I had forgotten about that moment until last week when the train we were on stopped.  We were delayed in a town called Sete.  As we pulled into the station, the conductor informed us of a slight delay, and while some passengers got off, more got on.  The delay grew and as more trains pulled in to the station, more people got on board.  Soon, the “reserved seats only” train was packed like Red Line L next to Wrigley Field on a Cub’s home day.  And while there were a few grumbles when people got on the packed train, the overall atmosphere was rather pleasant.  Passengers shared sandwiches, talked politics, and discussed how the euro differs from the old currency, the franc.  The delay lasted for over two hours, and honestly, I wasn’t bother by it; I was rather entertained.  Like the traffic jam the summer before, strangers bonded together in times when the situation was well out of their control.  There was nothing they could do but become friendly. 
As the train finally got moving again, one man stood on his seat with camera in hand and announced, “I’m taking family photo!”  Everyone smiled.
This made me feel good; negativity can be catchy, but I witnessed how good will and humor is even more contagious.  It was like a little after – Christmas bonus cheer; a reminder that overall, humans are good, compassion is easy to share, and a smile can change everything.

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