Stories by balou (11 matches)

In The Aisles ...

I just had a beautiful experience today: While shopping I met a woman, and offered to help her get something off the shelves as she was sitting in a wheelchair. We stood there in the aisle for, I have no idea how long ... certainly at least half an hour. I suggested that we just finish our shopping and go to a Café to continue talking. Today was a beautiful day with a lot of sunshine, so I thought this might be nicer than standing/ sitting in the basement of a drug store hindering other people to reach the shelves. We found a Café with chairs outside and continued talking. I think after approximately 2 hours we, finally ;-)) exchanged our names. Yes, we had been just talking and talking. After approximately 4 hours, we finally excused ourselves as we both still had some more tasks on our to-do-lists for today. We exchanged ... Read Full Story >>

1630 Reads


I just have received a good reminder how important reduction of waste is: Living in an apartment building as just one of several tenants, our waste bins are usually quite full (not only because several other tenants are not interested in reducing or preventing waste but as they seem to be incapable of even cutting a cereals box down, much less other more sturdy packages ...) Last week - for whatever reason - our waste was not collected as it usually is, so the little room where we have our bins is overflowing with waste ... a pity that in most cases it just elicited complaints of other tenants why the waste had not been collected ... no reflection on their own waste-generation and just blank stares when I suggested to be more mindful in this area .... (found these tips on the internet, maybe I just translate & print them and ... Read Full Story >>

1514 Reads


While my neighbour and his girlfriend were on vacation I watered the flowers and looked after his flat (and post). Knowing he would be back yesterday, I placed some muffins (chocolate-chili-plum :-}) as a welcome gift on his table.

He just came up, he and his girlfriend were very happy about this gesture, which made me very happy as well after I had a a little bit "drab" day. :-) Kindness coming back directly to me :-) LOL

1278 Reads

Spreading An Infection?

I've made it a habit to smile at people as often as possible and - given the right situation as I am living in a big city with many, many people - to say a kind word, hello, thank you, have a nice day. Whatever fits. I'm doing this for quite a while now, so I've seen all kinds of reactions-from people feeling threatened by a friendly word, reacting angry or even aggressive, to people whose faces lit up with a huge smile and gave me the impression that I've made this moment good (again) for them. Today something happened what I hadn't yet experienced: Two people - complete strangers to me and independently of each other, one in the morning, one in the afternoon - whom I passed on the street - without smiling at them, but with a friendly face nevertheless - looked up from their inner focus, looked at me, ... Read Full Story >>

1097 Reads

Opening A Door

While being in town today I saw across the street a 50ish business woman leaving a bank building. She seemed to be in a hurry ... but she realized that an elderly woman who was using a cane wanted to enter the bank as well. She turned back after some steps, opened the door and held it open for the lady. As soon as the elderly lady was inside she rushed away ... :-)

Awareness and Kindness :-) Not only for the elderly lady but for me as well (although she certainly didn't see me smiling, but I'm certain she felt the good vibes :-)).

834 Reads


I just received this beautiful little poinsettia, a neighbour left it in front of my door, rang the bell and went away.

She and her mother have been living in this house since long before I rented my apartement and her mother just recently passed away. Both, mother and daughter, always were (are) quite standoffish, but I always make sure to greet them, to be friendly to them, even though they often would not return the greetings. When the mother died I wrote a letter to the daughter expressing my condolences.

So imagine my surprise to find this little beauty with a thank you card from the daughter at my doorstep! Makes me smile! I will have to make sure to see her as often as possible in the staircase. I imagine she now feels quite lonely.

516 Reads

Thank You For Helping Me In Getting More Patient

In the middle of this heat our landlord has ordered the renovation of our balconies (tiny as they are). The workers, though kind and willing, are not really organised though, hopping from one balcony to the next. Right now four balconies out of six are being worked on at the same time. To be honest, I had to 'talk' to myself several times aleady not to complain about this, and today one of my neighbours, an 80 year old lady, started complaining - first to me, then to one of the workers. I am glad I was able to listen to her without starting to complain myself or belitteling her problems. At the beginning I thought, well, she usually is at home all the time, while I have to juggle appointments and reschedule them. But fortunately I could understand that the uncertainty for her seems to be almost overwhelming, her quiet day is ... Read Full Story >>

471 Reads

Shoe Laces And Aging

On my way back home today I saw an elderly man on the walkway, sitting down on a bench to re-bind his shoelace. He had problems reaching the laces on his shoe, so I went towards him and aked if I could help him - just this moment he caught his laces and was able to bind his shoes (fortunately I did not startle him into losing hold of the laces again ).

We talked for a short while and he thanked me for noticing his problems and offering to help, especially, when he saw that I was having problems moving around myself. We agreed that aging isn't for the faint hearted and both went laughing our ways with smiles on our faces ... a true win for both of us!

447 Reads

That friend who needed a walk

I planned on staying at home today.

Today is the start of the carnival season, but all festivities were canceled due to covid19. I had already heard that many, especially young, people were planning to ignore it and planning to take over the streets (with lots of alcohol involved). So my original plan was: stay at home, stay out of the way of the police who will have the challenge to keep everything quiet.

But a friend of mine contacted me, she's having a bad day and needs some company, so I decided to visit her, to go for a walk with her, to talk with her. It'll be good for me as well.

I just hope my travel to and from there will be peaceful without alcohol saturated youths trying to defeat the police.

Wishing all of you a wonderful day! 🤗

392 Reads

Smile Brings Happiness

Every time I am in 'my' supermarket I make sure to talk to the cashiers, smile at them, wish them a good day, etc. Today one of them looked stressed so I made sure to give her an extra bright smile and her reaction shocked me: She started smiling herself and told me that she always is happy to see me, as I would be one of only a few people who would see her as a human being and not as some sort of cashier robot.

I mean, it is a huge supermarket in the middle of the city, they have lots of customers! And obviously, most of them ignore her as a person. I didn't do anything special, yet it was special to her. While I feel touched and honored by her praise, I am also a bit sad that such basic contact is obviously such a rare commodity for her.

315 Reads

Cards For Spring

On the website of an NGO I found these great postcards. The writing translates:

Card in.
Buffet for insects out.

The cards consist of easily composted material with seeds of bee-friendly flowers embedded. You just have to put the card on the ground, cover it lightly with soil and water it, then the flowers should soon grow.

This makes writing real cards to others even more fun! I sent several out to friends and family. I am looking forward to receiving the first photos of the seeds growing.

240 Reads

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