The sun was sinking and the street vendors were closing up their shops. We’d walked the cobble stone streets of Florence all day and we were tired. Ready for a big supper and a good coffee back at the Bible School.
Bus 6 B in Florence takes us almost directly to the Bible school, with only a short walk from there we would be home. We’d be there in 25 minutes, tops.
We boarded the bus, which was crammed full of Italians– so much that we were all smushed together like sardines in a can, people tripping over one another and others unable to board because of it’s overwhelming fullness. The bus was about to burst at the seams, but we headed along our way.
Thirty minutes later, we’d lost half the people, found seats and began to look out the window. But nothing looked familiar. We began to question one another. We knew we hadn’t missed the stop, thanks to the screen at the front of the bus that plainly spells out each stop and Scandicci had yet to be on it.
A woman near to us noticed we were worried. She tired, in her best English to ask us where we were headed. “Scandicci,” we tell her. Her eyes widened and she shook her head. “Oh no, no, no. This bus not go to Scandicci.”
It’s bus 6. Every bus 6 goes to Scandicci. We didn’t understand. Clearly.
“Bus 6 to Scandicci, right?” We asked. She speaks to the driver in Italian and then tells us, we were on the right bus, but he wasn’t going to Scandicci. He was going home.
The sweet woman helped us find a bus stop to get off of that another bus 6 would pick us up at. We had absolutely no idea where we were, we were at the mercy of a strange Italian and waiting on a bus we hoped would come.
Two and a half hours after we first boarded the bus, we arrived at the Bible School.
BUT — we had a good story to tell. We met a stranger who helped us and showed us one more time the generosity of the Italian people. We saw more of Italy. And we got to witness the beauty of young kids giving up their seats for the elderly, as tradition in Italy. We got to see even more of their culture. We had something to laugh about.
Several people have emailed recently with a “what would you do in this situation,” email. Every situation is different, and sometimes, it’s just having another set of eyes to look at the situation and help figure out the best route to go. Photography, as a service can be difficult to manage sometimes when there are problems. But one can view a crisis as a life ending situation– or you can view it as an opportunity.
It’s not what got you into the crisis that matters. It’s how you come out of it.
If you’ve got the right attitude and a little faith, you can come from the crisis so much stronger. With different experiences. With happy memories. And with great stories to tell.
Dont’ be afraid of crisis. Attack crisis.
“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one that represents danger, and one that represents opportunity.” John F. Kennedy