Arriving in Madrid at the Avenida de América station on Monday evening, I found myself wondering how on earth I would manage to get to my future home with one huge suitcase, a large trekking backpack, a guitar, a normal size backpack and shoulder bag. I was happy to find a lonely trolley some other traveller had kindly left behind and after loading all my things onto this handy device, I made my way towards the metro. After asking two ladies and one gentleman I managed to find the lift and reached the metro station. At that point, the trolley and I had to part – so I put the big backpack on my shoulders, the other backpack on front wise, somehow carried guitar and shoulder bag and pulled my suitcase behind me. I wondered how strange I must appear – resembling an overloaded donkey more than a damsel in distress…soon I found myself at the top of a flight of stairs leading to the track where my metro was due to arrive. There was an escalator, but only for coming up. Just to make sure, I asked a girl that came by whether she knew of any lift or escalators – she said no, but kindly offered to help me with my things. I gave her my guitar and one bag and was about to carry the rest of my luggage down the stairs when I heard a deep voice behind me – “Hola, guapa! Can I help you with that suitcase?” I turned around and there stood…a Fata Morgana. I suppose if this were the only time such a thing had occurred, I would not presume to generalise – but somehow I feel that a woman genuinely in need of assistance, because she simply has way too many things than she could possibly carry, does not inspire acts of chivalry. Having learned from my experiences, I want to give some advice to those girls out there that do not want to remain damsels in distress.
- Do not carry too many things with you – only as much as you can carry. Somehow an overloaded donkey only encourages spectators, not gentlemen.
- Try to show you are in need of help without being too dramatic or hysterical.
- It helps if you’re petite, dress nicely and flirt a little – adds to the charm of helping you.
Next time I will make sure to follow these rules – maybe if I had done so this time, the two men I encountered would have offered their assistance instead of flashing a smile and commenting that I could surely carry two more backpacks without difficulty.