An Unlikely Pair

We recognize that every transfer students' experience is different, however, we know that many transfers face some of the same challenges as they transition into the university. This blog was created for transfers by transfers to share TIPS and insight on having the best semester you can at Texas A&M University.
    Posted on Friday, Feb 16, 2018
    After a long day of work, we rode the subway back to our hotel. One of our girls sat next to an older woman, who was Face Timing her family. The woman kept tilting the phone so her family could see this strange, red headed girl sitting next to her. While in East Asia, it was not uncommon for people to take pictures of us without our knowledge, after all we were a group of college students from Texas in a place that rarely sees a tourist... you can imagine their astonishment and curiosity. My friend decided to make the most out of it, so she said hi and waved to the woman’s family over Face Time. The woman got so excited and giggled, and proceeded to start a conversation with my friend in her native tongue. Not understanding a word, my friend went along with it and responded in English. Even though the two didn’t understand the other, they continued talking and laughing back and forth. It slowly turned into a serenade of songs, like happy birthday, in both languages and trying to teach the other the words. Oddly enough, the song they both knew was Despacito, which was riveting to observe. By this point, the two had drawn attention and a crowd formed. Within a matter of minutes, what was once a solemn, quiet subway ride turned into a joyful celebration of cultures in the purest form.
    When we got to our stop, the two got off and walked arm in arm to the exit, which is when I took this photo. We then all said our goodbyes to our new East Asian grandmother and her family. I have lots of videos and pictures of these precious moments, but this is my favorite. I wish I had gotten a picture of the woman’s face; I have never seen a smile so genuine.  

    This picture is simple, a little blurred, and easily overlooked, but it captures a precious moment that words cannot. These two had twenty minutes, are from two different sides of the world, spoke two different languages, and yet shared a blissful moment and created a memory that will last a lifetime. It showed me that love has no language or boundary. It is a little slice of hope and faith in humanity and human kindness.
    By: Kendall Janke, College of Liberal Arts
    Photo Attribution: Kendall Janke