Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published: March 21, 2022

Another wonderful day here in Sydney today. Although it was a bit cloudy in the morning, I decided to go to CBD for my project. As I reached the train station it was rather empty. When I reached there, I could see a little bit of sunshine. It was fifteen (15) more minutes before the train would arrive. I set down lazily and looked at the horizon. The tree across with the purple leaves caught my eyes.

White in the sky, grey, yellow and blue in front, and the purple across – the color purple. It has some majestic vibe to it which sometimes stands out. I have been wearing a shirt lately with that color. Found out it was tucked inside my wardrobe after the wash for a long time. I have one of my photos taken by one of my friends on her phone while I was at a gathering. She told me I looked great wearing that shirt. That was a while ago now – I recollected.

When the train arrived, I took a backseat at the top deck to have my head rested against the compartment doors. As the train started to move, I felt drowsy. Few stops later I spotted some tourists seated in the same carriage carrying large backpacks. Usually, people with those huge backpacks occupy those seatings at the concourse level near the entrance for easy onboarding and alight. However, they decided to come to the top deck. Perhaps traveling far, I suppose. After the dreaded COVID lockdowns, slowly people are starting to travel. The economy will be back on its feet again. I have very little knowledge about finance but still a booming economy makes me feel excited. And although I am very much fascinated by those buzzwords like everyone else, the moving train, however, always have only one impact on me. Consequently, the excitement of a booming economy succumbed to something rather very unexciting – drowsiness and sleep, lethargy and inertia – in about ten minutes or so.

There is a cat that lives next-door. Very fluffy and cuddly. Sometimes a bit vicious. When I walk past, occasionally, I see her yawning with her mouth wide open, two pointed teeth on the sides on each jaw, some long hair along her cheeks, and that pinkish tongue coming out of her mouth curving like a spoon at the bottom of her lips covering it for a second before it would be taken back inside. Her belly would lie on the floor and tail wagging as I get closer. And she would now stand on her feet walking slowly in front of me blocking my path. That image strikes to mind when I get on a train.

With announcements going off by the train crews I would wake up every now and then just to fall asleep once again as the train would start. Almost asleep I reached the Museum station at Sydney CBD half an hour later. Getting off the train I cruise around Hyde Park and there I met some Asian lady names Jyan (Korean I guess) to whom I explained my project, but she had to go to work soon so she couldn’t come along. The trimming of the park is still going on in some parts. The leaves are starting to fall off as the winter is coming. The crunchy noise of the dried leaves as you crush then under the shoes breaks the silence in the deserted park. Normally it’s crowded during lunch time but since it was still an hour or so to go for lunch the park was somewhat empty. Plugging my headphones in, I then headed off to townhall from there. I went inside the station as I was planning to go to Newtown perhaps but as I was about to go down the escalator to catch the train, there I noticed her gorgeous dark brown hair and all of a sudden, I approached her in my usual way – waving my hand looking at her and saying, “hey do you have a minute”?

She took off her headphone to listen to me and as I explained she happily consented to join. And I immediately thought brown against green would be a wonderful mix for a photo and I suggested that we go to Hyde Park, and she agreed to come along. From townhalls to Hyde Park it’s about five (5) minutes’ walk. And there she spoke about her dream plan of going to Europe in about a month travelling along Portugal, Greece, Spain, France and London.
She was planning to go there few months later, but she decided to go earlier to see afro nation festival in Portugal as she pointed out later.

During this discourse, one thing that came to my mind was of my earlier self when I started off my photography journey several years back. I used to be part of a large group of people who would text each other the night before and make impromptu decision on the fly to travel around the country on a typical off day. Unplanned, on the fly, and no dropouts or excuses for no-shows; no sickies and no fooling around. That was the spirit of the team. Spontaneity, and commitment – in essence the spirit of life.

One thing I came across meeting strangers is that although we are all different, we share some commonality almost with everyone. There is always something very common between two completely different individuals who seem to be living very different lives and yet, despite those distinctions there is that silken thread that could tie them together.

Besides being spontaneous, what I absolutely loved about her was this: she was super chatty. Sometimes during a casual chit chat there are moments when it falls flat but with her it was on for more than an hour.
And there she talked about her scavenger hunting experience during her year twelve (12) incidentally at Hyde Park and climbing on top of the statue next to the (Archibald Memorial) fountain nearby. She also mentioned the name of that statue, but I forgot – poor memories; some Greek mythological figure I suppose – Apollo, Athena, Apodidae, Zeus who knows which one.
Throwing eggs and flowers were also part of that hunt and as it turned out, she got into fist fight later with another girl whom she punched on the throat. Well, I forgot to ask if she would like to pull her hair too should the two happen to meet again as they are both grownups now. She briefly mentioned of her younger sister as well. I can’t remember the context anymore. But yes, certainly it would be worth exploring if they too also have ever engaged in one of those episodes. I have seen many girly fights when pulling each other’s hair becomes a scene for the spectators. Very feisty but amusing, nonetheless.

As I was taking her photos, I noticed her long nails – white colored and freshly done. She loves fashion – apparently and she loves exploring. She wants to start her own business in fashion after her studies as she is now second year into her uni and one more year to go.

It was cloudy for the time I was taking her photos so far but now the sun is shining a bit. I wanted to try something different. Bringing some sparkle to her hair, I tried to move her back and forth to the sun to catch some sunshine on her hair to give it a pop. Sometimes it’s hard to control the light but these following one seems good to me.

Her father was also a photographer at one point as she mentioned earlier and now into gym training while her mother has a hair salon. I asked, during her trip, how she would maintain the gorgeous colors of her hair. “I got the dye” – she replied promptly. Surely her mom taught her many tricks to keep those wonderful colors shiny and sparkly even on the move.

We talked about many things some of which I have to keep as a secret (LOL) and some of which I forgot but as we departed because of her plans to do some shopping, I was rather pondering on those different experiences people may have as they navigate through life and yet, how very similar two individuals could be although they were different on many level, many shades.
Later during the day as she left, I met yet another wonderful lady who inspired me in many ways to visit the beautiful country region of Orange. So, Stay tuned…

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