Reply To: What was the most touching thing a stranger ever did for you?


Rank: Knight of Hope

The first time I saw this question, an answer shared by Emila Irus on QUORA was the first thing that came to my mind.
I’m re-sharing it below

At 6 am, on a cold summer morning in Sweden, I was on my way home from a party. Suddenly, I saw a man getting kicked out of a slow-moving car. I was about 500m away at the time. When I got closer, he quickly picked up his bed-roll and a small bag. He stood up and quickly sat down on the stairs of a house. I was already walking on the same side as he was and as I came closer, he looked away, crawled into a corner and tried not to be noticed by me.
To be honest, I first thought he might be some kind of addict but as I came closer, I noticed he was dressed properly and probably in some kind of trouble. So, I asked him, in Swedish, if everything was OK? He looked at me, with a huge black eye, and said in Spanish: “No hablo…” Well, I don’t speak Spanish very much either (I think he also was a little afraid of me).
I asked what had happened to him (he understood a little English mixed with Spanish- my one-year Spanish lessons finally paid off) but he didn’t want to tell me at first and just wanted to be alone. But I was persistent (and a bit drunk). In the end, I’m glad I was persistent.
Eventually, I learned that his Spanish wife had moved here a few years ago and brought him here with her. Unfortunately, she’d totally abused him for years and kept him locked up in an apartment (near where he was dropped off) and he was hardly ever allowed outside.
He was 45 years old but had no friends here and no place to stay. He did though have dual Spanish and Swedish citizenship.
When I asked him if he had any friends in Spain, he said: “Mom, in Barcelona”. I asked him if he wanted me to phone up a men’s shelter of some kind (Thanks iPhone and Google translate). He started crying and said he wanted to go to Spain again and that he had saved some cash which he showed me. I then gave him my phone and let him call his mom. I understood from their discussion that they hadn’t spoken for quite some time.
During that time:

I went online (on my other phone-I have two due to work)Took out my credit card and asked for his passport and name.Ordered a ticket to Barcelona on the next flight there with his name on it.Arranged a taxi to the airport then went to the airport with him. When I told him he was going to Spain, that made him a little happy.

All during that time, he wanted to pay for himself and give me money- he was very prideful. But, I believed it was better for him to have money once he arrived at his Mom’s. I also gave him my number and email in case anything happened along the way.
A few days later, he emailed me a picture of himself with his Mom and family.