This week, i bought my first car. It was my dad's old one. John and I drove it up from Maryland to his parents' house in Massachusetts. We refueled in New Jersey, and then forgot to stop again. I then drove from John's house to my apartment. The fuel light came on a few miles from home. But since it was nearly midnight, i just went to bed.
The next day, i wanted to go get gas and groceries. That was unintentionally alliterative. Anyway, my car was parked on a hill and wouldn't start.
I called my dad. While he was trying to advise me, one of my neighbors approached my car. I had no idea who he was. He offered me help. When he couldn't start the car either, he and his wife gave me a ride to the gas station.
Jack and Lena offered me advice about living and driving in Quincy as we drove back and forth. After buying the gas, Jack put it in the car and tried to start it. The one gallon wasn't enough, so he took me back for another one.
This is the really awesome part. Jack is Arabic. All three of the gas stations near my apartment are owned by Arabs. The owner was willing to put gas in an unapproved container, something that carries a hefty fine if you are caught. But the guy did it without blinking an eye, because Jack asked him to.
When the car was finally running again, i went back to the has station and filled my tank. The total came to $27.49. I gave the guy thirty. He tried to give me change. I had to convince him to keep the tip. It wasn't nearly enough, but it was all the cash I had.
Sometimes people surprise you. Anyway, i have learned my lesson about refueling before bed, parking on hills, and letting people help me. My new year's resolution? Don't run out of gas again. And go the extra mile to help those in need. You know, pay it forward.
Happy 2012, everyone.