After the bitter and divisive election in the U.S., Salma Hamidi says several random acts of kindness during a subway ride last week reminded her how happy she is to be Canadian.
Hamidi said strangers young and old and from different backgrounds came together on the TTC to help a man who was running late for a job interview.
Hamidi, an Iranian immigrant who has lived in Canada for approximately 12 years, says when she was on the subway last week, a Latino man threw down his skates and sat down in front of her holding his head repeatedly saying, "Oh, God."
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But then a fellow passenger reached out.
"The Russian guy sitting beside him asked if everything was OK in a pretty heavy accent," Hamidi said in a Facebook post. "He said he has a horrible headache and is running late for an interview."
That's when Hamidi offered him an Advil. He thanked her, but said he had nothing to take it with.
"The Middle Eastern woman sitting beside me wearing [a] hijab, took out a juice box from her kid's backpack and gave it to him, telling him that if he takes it now he'll feel better by the time he gets to the interview," she added.
'The ultimate Canadian experience'
But the man also revealed that he was nervous.
Being an employer, Hamidi assured him that everything would be okay. She recommended that he not make excuses, but rather simply say that he's late and apologize.
Then others on the train also decided to help him prepare for his interview.
"The Russian told him to walk in confidently and to tie his hair back if he [could]," she said. "A Chinese teenager sitting on his other side handed him a hair tie saying she has a million of them."
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"Now if THIS isn't the ultimate Canadian experience short of a beaver walking into a bar holding a jar of maple syrup, I don't know what is!"
The Muslim woman told him to smile a lot as people are more willing to trust you if you smile, Hamidi recalled.
When the man got to his station, they all wished him good luck in his interview.
"Now if THIS isn't the ultimate Canadian experience short of a beaver walking into a bar holding a jar of maple syrup, I don't know what is!" she wrote.
Surprised by response
After her Facebook post went viral, Hamidi shared her story with CBC Toronto, and said she was surprised by the response it received.
"Before I knew it, it just exploded," she said.
Hamidi added that the subway ride moved her and that she felt it was nice that everyone came together so early in the morning. She was happy that so many others got to hear her story once it got shared hundreds of times. Some have already reached out to her to tell her how heartwarming the story was.
"I guess we're all very grateful that we live here," Hamidi said. "More so than ever we all realize it and everybody was saying how they are in love with Canada and the culture."