Today, Stanley brought me a bag.
Now bringing a bag doesn’t sound like anything too impressive – but let me give you a little more background:
I arrived back in South Africa three days ago and after waiting for what felt like hours for my bags to make it around the carousel, I realised that those bags were not coming… That’s right! I got the gift all plane passengers wish they could receive – the gift of not having to lug 40kg home with them after a long flight.
Ok, maybe making lost luggage sound like a good thing is a little too much of a stretch.
But this great catastrophe in my life (as I perceived it – just think: no hair straightener, no facecloth, no slippers) turned out to be a great introduction to some of the great people of this Nation.
Since the moment I informed the people at OR Tambo International Airport that my bags were missing, I have been impressed. From phone-calls about the progress, to friendly smiles at delivery. Each person I have interacted with has been compassionate, patient, polite, and friendly. When I came frustrated and exhausted, the people who assisted me offered understanding, and considerate and fast service.
Tonight I received my second and final piece of luggage. It arrived at the hands of Stanley, who drove his own car, and had his wife and daughter with him. He arrived at eight o’clock on a Sunday night. Never before have I known such dedicated service – and it came with a smile!
I have heard before that the people of South Africa are some of the friendliest in the world. Today I witnessed first-hand the sincerity, dedication, and friendliness of one of South Africa’s finest.
Today, thanks to Stanley, I am proud to be South African. Today, I am a very happy tourist!