In either the late 1990’s or early 2000’s I went to Sydney for a conference with some friends. We stayed in Darling Harbour in a magnificent 4 bedroom apartment with a huge balcony and a city view. The conference ended on Saturday night and Sunday was the day to travel home.
I was lucky because the Sydney Swans were playing a home game and it was going to be the first time I could watch my team play at our home ground rather than Melbourne. My membership gave me free entry to the SCG so I left my friends who were going to do some sightseeing and made my way to the ground. My only annoyance was having to carry my large overnight bag around. It was quite big and heavy and therefore difficult to carry.
When I arrived at the ground I realised I had no idea where I could sit. In those days they still had the hill (a grassy area without seating) but I thought I’d be able to sit in a seat. I walked down an aisle and sat in a seat only to be told a few minutes later they were reserved seats. There were no customer service people around for me to ask for help so I just kept moving from seat to seat, hoping the people who had reserved the seat wouldn’t turn up. I was beginning to feel very out of place and just a little lonely.
After being moved on once again, a couple who were sitting nearby offered me the spare seat beside them. Their son normally went to the games with them but couldn’t that day. I was so grateful to these total strangers. Not only did they offer me the seat but they also chatted throughout the game, making me feel so much better.
I will never forget their kindness. I can still recall most of the details very clearly and often tell the story.