A Sweet Surprise in Munich
"If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world."
- Francis Bacon
The autumn leaves decorated the tree-lined path along the Isar River in Munich. We were enjoying the fresh air and chatting about how glad we were that we chose to spend our one afternoon in Munich walking to the river and avoiding tourist attractions. We were both tired and still recovering from head colds, so I'm not sure we would have fully enjoyed anything but fresh air and beauty with how we were feeling.
There were benches here and there along the street side of the path, and we were met with a friendly hello as we passed by two men seated on one of them. They were enjoying a beer, having just finished playing soccer, which we later learned is something they have done regularly for many years and it was where they met and became friends.
Enoar is from Bulgaria and came to Germany in 1981. He is a translator and also works for an organization that provides shelter, food and training for homeless people while they get back on their feet.
George is from Romania and came to Germany 30 years ago. He is an engineer and also works for the same organization that helps homeless people in Germany.
They made our day. We talked with them for at least 45 minutes, if not longer. The conversation stopped only because George's wife came to pick him up from practice and, by then, it was also starting to get dark. We all said our goodbyes with hugs all around.
We shared much laughter with these two kind souls. John and I enjoyed our time with them so much that we realized on the way home that, for a while, we had forgotten that we had stuffy noses and all the other discomforts of head colds.
Thank you, guys, for a fun and beautiful memory of Munich and for making us forget we were sick!
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, (1561-1626), quoted above, was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, orator, and author. He served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.