When I boarded the plane for my one-week vacation in Apulia, I did not know that it was the day for visiting the Bari cruiseship terminal. Life has its own ways sometimes.
I had just taken my window seat in the small airplane that would take me to Bari when my neighbour arrived: an elderly Bavarian lady smartly dressed that smiled at me friendly, but also a little timidly. Soon she started a conversation, asking whether I knew how to get to the port for the big cruiseships. It turned out that she had missed her cruiseship in Venice the day before, simply because she had mixed up the flight dates. In order to join her two older sisters of 80 and 75, she had decided to try to catch the boat in Bari. The whole incident stressed her quite a bit, as I could see. She had not slept at all the night before and had it not been for her daughter, she would probably have cancelled this adventure. But there she was now, on her way to Bari, unsure whether time would suffice to reach the ship, and not speaking a single word of Italian, English or French - let alone carrying a mobile phone with her.
Having messed up flight dates myself before, I could imagine what she was going through. So, instead of putting her into a cab I offered to take her to the port. She seemed somewhat relieved but also a little embarrassed at the thought of causing me trouble. But it went all very smoothly, she arrived at the cruiseship terminal on time, where she was already expected and found a German-speaking agent. When she realized it would all work out after all, she finally relaxed and in her Bavarian accent admitted that she could burst out into tears of happiness.
A few weeks later I received a postcard: She had had a wonderful and priceless time with her sisters. I guess it is worth while overcoming your fears and insecurities and boarding this cruiseship called life.