Last week we had two terrific storms here in Vienna, Austria (3 people died). Surely no comparison to any American hurricane or Indian rain season – but for the peaceful and safe Vienna is was an outstanding experience!
Day one. The worse time of the storm I stayed in my office: brute wind and dark rain could not really bother me in a huge modern building. But as soon as I came out there was a strange feeling: most of the public transport was out of order (broken brunches on the streets and railways). I tried a taxi line – constantly occupied (can imagine how many people had been calling up at the same time!). How to get home???
Suddenly I noticed a strange thing: cars stopping by and offering a ride. Just private cars! – Regular private persons offering their help to the poor pedestrians. Why was it unusual? – in many cultures, like in Russia it is a normal thing to ask for a ride somewhere on a street. Not the case in Austria. It seems to me that the people are so bothered about their privacy that they try to avoid any unnecessary contact.
Seeing the sudden change in the folks behaviour I realised that it is the only chance for me to get home – and just asked the first driver waiting for the green light for the lift. He was pretty surprised but quite happy 🙂
The next day everything turned the same way. Towards the evening a torrential rain with devastating speed showered upon the fabulous city of Vienna. It was short but terrifying.
That time I was safely hiding in one Turk restaurant (that was again funny as they obviously never have any other quests there except for Turks themselves, so everybody have been staring at me as at the world wonder 🙂
Suddenly one woman came rushing in with a little girl in her arms. The child was crying, obviously frightened by the disastrous storm… Everybody in the restaurant started calming her down, it was such a feeling of unity in the desire to protect an innocent child!
Why am I telling about it to you?
Somehow it was a very moving experience to me – to see how people act in a situation of a total danger. Luckily I have never experienced it before, therefore it was so strong and so unusual to me.
All that gave me hope and a good feeling that people are indeed much much better than what they show in a daily life.
Facing natural disaster could probably awaken the most beautiful human qualities in people…
Good sign if we are really about to face something like a doomsday.