In a new article, ”The kindness of strangers: Five times travel restored our faith in humanity”, the Telegraph Travel Experts recall acts of decency they have encountered on their travels.
The article includes the story of Marcel Theroux who thanks Faroese actress Laura Joensen ”for going beyond the call of duty” and inviting him ”to lunch in her cosy, turf-roofed house in the village of Tjørnuvík”.
Thereoux explains that ”…I’d bumped into her niece during a walk on the blustery Faroese coast and expressed an interest in traditional Faroese food. I received a lunch invitation for the following day.”
“Over lunch, I realised that Laura is an actress and quite celebrated in her homeland. It was rather as though Helen Mirren had invited a total stranger around for pie and mash. It was an unforgettable meal – and not just because of Laura’s generosity. She served fermented lamb that smelled like blue cheese, whale meat, and a sauce of sheep guts called garnatalg that is served on wind-dried fish. She was aware that some palates might find the dishes a challenge. “It’s enough to say “like” or “not like” without saying “ugh”,” she said, with a slight steeliness. The food was an acquired taste, but the sense of conviviality was universal”, explains Theroux who concludes that:
”The remarkable thing about random acts of kindness is not how rare they are, but how frequent. The well-advertised possibilities of human cruelty would make you think that homo homini lupus is the size of it: man is a wolf to man. But wander the world and what do you find? Strangers going out of their way to give each other painstaking directions. People lending each other umbrellas, drivers thanking each other by flashing their hazard lights.”