Cartagena, Colombia. Day 2.
I woke up early today. At around 6. Hard to not wake up early when you are the guy sleeping in the middle bunk bed here, right? Well, that guy is me.
I always choose the cheapest room type.
After managing to not hit my head, I sat upright for a moment. The girl inhabiting the lower bed just got home. Must have been a good party… on a Tuesday.
She passed out with her phone in her hand, which hit the ground seconds later.
Been there, done that.
I jumped down and sat in silence for a bit in the communal area. After that, I decided to go on a walk and pee-away some time until breakfast.
I like getting lost in new places.
I wandered around the still sleepy town and inhaled the morning smells, listening to some birds in the distance. Some salesmen shoved their carts through the streets. A few lonesome beggars passed-out on the sideway.
In the midst of it, I spotted a scruffy dog.
It looked lost; afraid.
Not sure how I know that, but it seemed like the dog was without a place to go.
Our eyes met. I looked at him for more than just a second and smiled.
He walked over to me…
At this point, I got scared.
My thoughts went something like this: I hope he won’t touch me. Maybe he is sick. Maybe he got fleas. I have nothing to give him… and so on.
I decided to do nothing about my thoughts and see what happens.
What did happen, drove tears into my eyes.
The dog just followed me. He walked next to me and his tail went up. He did not bark, beg or bite. He just walked next to me… for about 15 minutes.
I was touched. In fact, I still am.
I tried to make sense of what just happened.
Here I am, walking through the streets, smiling at a somewhat lost dog and it starts following me, crossing streets with me, looking for me.
One single, simple, short smile. That was all it took.
Now… Aren’t we all like this lost dog?
Aren’t we all looking for some sign of love; a smile, a nod, or a kind word?
I know I am.
A simple acknowledgement of someone else’s existence, be it a smile, or short eye-contact, may alter the course of the whole day for the better.
For both, giver and receiver.
P.S. I did not get a shot of the actual dog. Did not think about it. Let’s just assume he was sitting where the red arrows are, ok?
P.S.S. I don’t like headlines like the one I used very much. Though it works. People love them. Not sure why…