I learned a pretty horrible lesson in Paris. I had just checked out of my hotel in [Paris](http://www.geektravel.info/2006/07/16/photos-from-paris/) and began my trip back home. I went down into the ChÃ¢telet subway station. I had to go down several levels, and when I arrived at one stair, a woman was just carrying her heavy luggage up, one step at a time.
Normally, I would have of course offered to help her, but I was still tired from returning to the hotel only about seven hours earlier, so I simply passed her by. I walked through ChÃ¢telet Les Halles and finally got to the RER station.
The RER entered not a minute later. And it was the non-stop Express RER to the airport, too. I arrived there to just catch the bus to Terminal 2. The Quick check in machine ate my ticket, and a guy had to print it out manually. I got seat 1a (had the entire row 1 for myself, too) – “boarding is in 10 minutes”, he said. “You should make that.”
I thanked him, and was on my way. I heard the boarding call about half-way to the gate. I didn’t have to queue for long. The flight left on time and only took about 40 minutes instead of the nominal 55 minutes. Arrived at gate A10 in Frankfurt, so I didn’t have to walk far. I bought something to drink at the airport supermarket, and when I descended to the subway station the subway just arrived. And at the main station, my tram also just arrived as I stepped onto the platform.
I’ve never had a return from Paris that was quicker or more smoothly.
Had I helped that woman, I’d have only caught the slow RER and not made it for the plane. I would have had to wait for the next one, and who knows how much luck I’d have had with the other connections.
What a horrible lesson; don’t help someone and your life is easier.
Good thing I do not believe in the [fundamental interconnectedness of all things](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirk_Gently), and thus I realize it’s all just random events. It still is not an example you wish to give to others. I promise next time I’ll again help a lady even if it means I get home three hours later.