Through the windows of my car, I saw the breeze kissing thousands and thousands of trees. The trees were dressed up in golden and orange, and it seemed like they were rocking and rolling on their way to a big party. It reminded me of the day when I came to the US in 2005, which was the colorful harvest season in Rochester. I started my life with nothing and struggled as so many new things sprung up at the same time and became frustrated. Despite my hardships I received a gift that changed my feelings.
I bought my first car ever in Rochester two years late during the colorful harvest season. It was an 1989 Oldsmobile and although all the controls were manual, I got it for a good price. It looked cute to me. I had just learned how to drive, but I was happy to drive my friends around. I had a plan to meet up with my friends at the Cantonese House to celebrate my birthday. When I left my house, I knew my car was low on gas, but I was in a hurry to pick a friend up and I tried to bet that I could make it to the Cantonese House; I was foolish. When I stopped at the traffic light at Exit #1 of 590 Expressway, and was about 3 miles away from my friend’s apartment, my car stopped. I couldn’t start my car, although I tried many times. Consequently, there were several cars behind me and bleating; besides sweating I had no idea what could I do at that moment. So I kept trying to start my car while signaling with my hand to the cars behind me to pass me, because I didn’t know how to turn on the emergency lights. I called my friend, and my friend told me if the police came, I would get in trouble and get a ticket. I felt like a volcano that was about to erupt.
“You might have run out of gas.” A gentle voice was next me. I turned my eyes to determine if it came from a policeman. Thank God! It was an ordinary looking American guy. “I don’t know, I guess, I just can’t turn on…” I didn’t even know what I was trying to say.
“Give me a second.” He ran back to his car. He came back holding what looked like a bucket to me. “You will be alright,” he said calmly. I had been told that that Americans won’t do anything for anyone without pay, even their family. I asked myself, “How much is he going to charge me?” Although I really needed to get out of that place, I didn’t want to be in a trap. “Excuse me Sir, how much shall I pay you?” I asked.
“Don’t worry about it.” He waved to me and went back to his car said, “Enjoy a wonderful day!” I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. “Thank you very much, Sir, you too.”I replied to him in bright and clear voice. My car was running again and I met my friends on time.
The strange man gave me a great birthday present. He not only gave me a free bucket of gas, but also gave me help and hope. I learned from him that giving your warm hands to someone if you can, will make the world different. After that day, I have been comfortable in Rochester and I feel like people would help me if I need it. I have found that life here in Rochester is great and I am grateful for the people who are willing to help people in need.