When I was writing a composition in Japanese I wrote this sentence:
What I wanted to say is: In the metro, since Japanese people realized I was carrying 3 bags which were very heavy, they helped me to carry the baggage
I got corrected the 持っていた I wrote for 持っている but what I wanted to say is "I was carrying", that is, in the past. Why is it used in Japanese the present tense? Is there a rule or something? I got confused because of that and now I don't know when to use the present or the past in these kind of constructions in Japanese, even when in English we use the past tense.