An unexpected encounter (part one)

If you walk the streets with open eyes, you may find yourself in interesting situations. You meet someone looking at a city map with a confused facial expression. Perhaps you notice a disabled person in a wheelchair who may need a hand. Or someone else asking for help or advise.

Let me tell you what happened to me a couple of days ago, as I was on my way from this restaurant on Albertinkatu, Helsinki.

When I turned the corner, I observed this young man outside a bicycle store.  Accompanied with a salesman, the two men inspected a bike. It was obvious the man was picking up his new bicycle.

The tricky part is that the bike man was not alone. He was accompanied by a little boy sitting in a pram.

I passed the couple. I noticed that the man was in trouble maneuvering a pram AND a bike. Therefore, I stopped and asked if I could be of assistance. I explained I was on my way to Kaisaniemi, and I’d be happy to help, as it seemed that some help was required.

The man mumbled under his breath, which one would I nick: the child and the pram, or his shiny new bike?

Therefore, the father allowed me to push the pram with the child on board. He himself would operate the new bike.

Of course, a brief moment of panic was in the eyes of the little lad: who the heck is this old fart in his ugly green jacket to push my pram? A stranger who wasn’t even able to de-activate the pram’s brakes!

The little one didn’t speak too much; he was after all probably cool with the situation as Dad was around all the time.  And off we went toward the railway station; the father explained that they were from there to catch a train taking them home a few stations away.

The father monitored my actions closely. It wasn’t actually that easy to maneuver a pram as we had to cross several intersections on our way to the station. Outside the Stockmann, I had difficulties to make the gadget clear the tram tracks, but I believe I managed all right.

At Kalevankatu, there was this russian(?) fellow who asked for advise: he had parked his car and needed to know if he had to pay for his parking. We explained that yes, you will need to pay. Across the street there was a ticket machine; the bike man and I pointed it out.

But at Kaivokatu, the man announced that he will make it from there with his son and his bike. All righty, take care: The little one had something exciting to tell Mum when they arrive home. Son: Tell her about The Green Man who helped him and his daddy to make it to the station. Probably Dad need to explain some details.

Be safe, man with the bike: You told me that you are going to ride your bike to a from work, a 20 km commute. At least your fresh wheels seemed serious enough to make it in any situation.

Yes.

Keep them eyes open, perhaps you too can from time to time reach out a helping hand?

Peter Kangas
march 12 2015

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