On a recent trip from Kampala, Uganda to Brussels, Belgium I encountered a dilemma of sorts. Like a lot of travelers finding the nearest restroom after a long flight is often a major priority.
On this particular occasion the men had the definite advantage. In fact, the ladies restroom was blocked off for cleaning.
As the men moved ahead at lightening speed, the women were in pain. What happened next brought smiles and concern to the men’s room. Before we knew it, the ladies were joining us in our comfort break!
Relieved, most of the men were washing their hands and questioning whether we were in fact in the correct restroom. The urinals were assurance we were in the correct cue.
Smiling and rolling our eyes, an Asian man looked to me and a new German friend and inquired, this is wrong, right? The restroom burst into laughter!
I was reminded of the old saying that there isn’t a right way to do a wrong thing. I pity the fool who would have tried and convince these desperate ladies that they were in the wrong. In fact, thinking about it from their perspective brought to mind an additional quote when experiencing a new culture: “It is important to remain fluid and flexible and to remember it isn’t necessarily wrong but simply different.”
This recent cooperation among total strangers brought many smiles and reminded me that meeting even the most basic of human needs can be greatly appreciated.
I think I will look for opportunities to do the same the rest of the day. How about you?