I have this habit of picking up strays. It started when I was a kid and found (literally) a stray cat in the neighborhood. I picked it up, make it a nest under the house and found out 'it' was a 'she' when she had a litter of kittens in my yard.
Many years later, when my now husband and I were dating, we were traveling home on the old People's Express airline from a visit to my family in Florida, back to NYC and we ended up befriending a young woman sitting in the row with us. She was from Belgium and had to get to France the next day for rehearsals for an upcoming play. Only problem: we were so late getting out of the airport in Florida, that she was going to miss her once a day connection abroad in NY. She had never been to NYC and didn't really have any idea what to do. So we took her under our wings, got her to the Port Authority from Newark (where the plane landed) and got her safely ensconced in a mid town hotel for the night. **
This is a pattern for me. Wherever I see folks who look a little lost or uncertain, I swoop in and offer to help.
Tuesday evening, my older son and I were coming home from a Red Sox game (sadly, they lost, but Fenway is fun anytime, regardless) when the man sitting in the seat in front of us on the Green Line asked us if we knew where a certain hotel was.
He was clutching a print out of the subway lines with the name and address of the hotel. He had made his way from the airport to downtown Boston and then onto the Green Line trolley, to the Newton Highlands stop where he was told he could walk to his hotel.
Well, he *could* have walked, but it would have been several miles, and it was after midnight and he had a large suitcase.
My 'stray rescuing' sensors went on full alert.
I offered to drive him to his hotel from the train stop, as it was essentially on my way. He initially accepted and we got off the trolley (known in Boston as the "T") together a few stops beyond where he had been told to go, as that was where my car was parked. As we walked towards the parking lot, he insisted in taking a cab from there.
I tried to assure him that it was no bother to me, that it was on my way, and that I would be happy to help him.
But I think he suddenly didn't feel safe, for whatever reason, and as I drove out of the lot with my son, he was getting information from the parking folks about cabs.
I really felt badly that he ended up paying for a cab, after flying so many hours to Boston from Bulgaria. I hope his symposium went well and that he wasn't too freaked out by one mid-40 something woman and her teen age son in Red Sox t-shirts tuesday night on the "T".
**we had exchanged addresses with this young woman and several months later, I received a package in the mail with 10 pounds of Belgian chocolate and a thank you note. Not that that's why I rescue strays, but wow, that was amazing chocolate.