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Strangers-turned-saviours

There’s nothing quite like being helped out of a tight spot when that spot is halfway round the globe. Our stafers recount episodes in their travels that prove home isn’t necessarily where the heart is…

STAFF STORIES

FOUND IN TRANSLATION

James Gabriel Martin Lonely Planet writer @James_G_Martin

AFTER A LONG DRIVE, WE REACHED OUR guesthouse in a small village in the north of Okinawa, Japan. We were ravenous, so afer check-in, I asked the receptionist to book a table at the adjoining restaurant, the only place to eat for miles. Half an hour later, we arrived to find it full. None of the staf spoke English, and my Japanese was very poor. I tried to explain that we had a booking, but the waitress did not understand me. Afer some time, a woman who had been watching from a nearby table approached and ofered to translate. We were sorted in minutes, and as we ate, the friendly woman, Yayoi, invited us to her home the following night. She cooked an amazing dinner, joked with her husband, and she showed me her incredible ceramic art and introduced me to her cats. It was one of my favourite nights from my trip across Japan. We are still in touch, and am thankful that her simple act of kindness allowed me to make a lifelong friend.

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