In 1989 when I was a serving in the Belgian navy (19yrs old) on my way back home to the UK on leave; I met two Brazilian girls at the port of Ostende looking rather distraught. Feeling bad that these two ladies of my age were so sad I approached them despite my shyness. They explained they had lost their tickets to the UK and were trying to cath the ferry; when I asked about other papers, passports etc they had not lost any of those! Now my navy pay as a serving member of the obligatory military service at that time was an equivalent of 50$ per month (about 3500 Belgian Francs) I had this in my pocket having just been paid. I enquired to the clerk who informed that indeed I had enough to pay for the two tickets and would have a little change. I sighed, looked at the ladies, summed up all the pros and cons. I am not daft nor naive but even though I felt there was a chance that these ladies had never puchased a ticket in the first place, I sensed their need and purchased the tickets. I guided them onto the ship (I had already purchased mine before had) and then proceeded to talk to them on the boat. Before we parted, one of the ladies gave me a picture of herself and marked on the back; to a kind man.
I got off the boat in Dover and my funds eroded; I hitch hiked to London.

I still have the picture to this day.

  • France