Day 54. Laughing out loud.

It is the small things that make me smile. 
And I shouldn't write now, I should walk, the day is short and there are many kilometers to go but sometimes it is important to share here, to take the time, grab it. 
I am in a busstop, I always aim for a bench to take a small break, to rest my tired shoulders, to eat. Three kids ran by on the other side, talking, playing. They came back on my side of the street, they walked over to me and the smallest one, maybe 6 or 7, told me that there would be no busses today. A simple act of kindness. I smiled and told them it was ok, that I was walking anyway. They ran on, enjoying each others company and I found myself laughing out loud. It happens now and then and I should do that more, we should do that more.
Shortly after a man on a bike stopped because he thought I was lost and he wanted to help me. 
Most people on the road are kind. Not always. The man I talked to earlier - an official guard at a barred entrance - when I had to walk through a holiday park to get to the small track just outside the park, denied me access, even when I told him it would mean a big detour along the highway, because there was no other way to cross. I told him I had been walking for more than 50 days, that my bag was heavy, that I was doing it for a good cause. He didn't care so I walked the same way back I had walked yesterday in the dark when at 6 I decided it was too cold and I was too tired to enter the forest and look for a place to put up my tent. That meant a detour already but also the promiss of a shower and a soft bed.
Those highway hotels are strange places, but they are a good choice when you try to live with little money. Here, closer to Paris, it is more expensive though but I've been so careful with my money and I had so many gifts from people, that it was ok for one night. Ibis or Campanille? It was tempting to choose the Campanille hotel which was a little more expensive but offered more and had water cookers in the rooms so I could make tea and coffee and noodle soup. Normally I ask for a discount when I check into a hotel but this time I didn't. It didn't feel right and it is difficult anyway with big hotel chains.
The lady behind the counter had a smile as if she enjoyed her life. I smiled as well, being happy to sleep in a room. And when she gave me the key, when I had told her I was looking forward to be warm and clean after another tough day, she asked me if I had eaten and she brought me tea and apple juice and a sandwich. She was curious about my walk, about my cause, she asked what was the biggest environmental issue and I told her that at the COP21 they focus on global warming and CO2 emission but that the real problem lies deeper, is about people in power, people with money, but also a lot of people on the street, not caring about each other, not caring about the world.
The room was great, I tried to watch some news on tv but the commercials were everywhere and I had a lot of administration to do. It is also because of that, that I pay for accomodation now and then. In the cold dark nights outside I can do nothing but hide in my sleeping bag.
When I checked out the woman with the smile was there again. Tricia Robinson. She gave me a special discount on the room and asked the cook to make me a sandwich for the road. A big one.

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