Imagine you, like me, speak only English. You’re visiting family in a foreign country where nearly nobody speaks English. When it’s time to fly home, the airport can be a scary place. Your family can go only so far with you before reaching an area only for ticketed passengers. But with very specific and detailed instructions from your family before parting, you can probably reach your gate and board the plane with minimal trouble.
Then what happens if your flight is cancelled?
That’s the predicament (with the languages reversed) a pair of Brazilians found themselves in while visiting Cleveland recently. Thankfully, a 6-foot-11, curly haired Portuguese-speaking Clevelander emerged to save the day.
The pair of Portuguese speaking travelers were the mother and brother of a Cleveland resident they had been in town visiting.
According to a source close to the family, neither person spoke English and they were left stranded at the airport after their connecting flight to Miami had been canceled.
Eventually, they found a person who offered to help translate Portuguese to English at the American Airlines desk in order to get them onto another flight.
This person turned out to be Anderson Varejao, who also helped the pair of travelers get into a Miami hotel where they eventually stayed overnight before catching the second leg of their flight home to Brazil the following day.
Varejao has become a somewhat forgotten man in Cleveland after he missed most of each of the last three seasons due to injury and the Cavaliers developed Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller, drafted Anthony Bennett and signed Andrew Bynum.
But I know at least one Clevelander holds Varejao in the highest regard.