Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published: May 5, 2022

Another wonderful day here in Sydney today (May 4, 2022) and all I wanted to do is to get out in the midst of activities with my most trusted and reliable partner – my camera and my backpack.

Several hours have passed since I woke up and there are no signs of gloom in the sky; its fresh. After finishing my household chores when I finally went to the station, I found it empty. The sun is now up and the bright colors of the platform – the greys, yellows, and browns – and the blue sky with snow white clouds floating around was there to fill my senses – visual senses; stimulating a visceral cord that seems so attuned craving for more and more of those colors like a voracious Wanyudo.

It was eight more minutes I had to spend watching those colors while waiting in the platform before the train would arrive and when it did, I got onboard and climbed up the stairs to the upper deck. Luckily though today the compartment was rather empty and planting myself onto the backseat I kept my eyes towards the sky while my head rested against the wall; until of course, I felt drowsy.

Shortly after the train had started to move, I heard: “Warm welcome to you all” as the train crew took the speaker. Sometimes it is refreshing to hear those voices, and today this was the sound that broke my spell of an uninterrupted sleep, now and then.

Half an hour has passed and that voice – loud, deep, heavy and masculine – came to my rescue when I jumped out of my seat and came down to find the sliding door is open just before the train would leave. And just like yesterday I got off at Museum Station and walked around Hyde Park; all over – from one side to the other. My drowsiness is now gone and after a few yawns now I am finally fully woken up and ready for some drama.

I saw a bunch of pigeons today, next to the intersection at Elizabeth St; doing what they do – picking some food from the ground. I stood nearby but they seemed like totally careless, didn’t take notice of my invading presence. I took a photo and walked off, minding my own business – leaving them alone.

There I walked and walked. Went up to where the Archbold fountain is near St James station and heard the basker playing music, with a guitar and his voice alone. He is wearing a hat, his shirts tucked while the cord from the guitar feeding a speaker. I was there for about ten minutes and by now more than half an hour has passed although I didn’t make any approaches yet. From there, I went to townhall and stood at the intersection. Hundreds of people are passing by every minute or so and I approached a bunch of them while they were rushing, and they are all refused to join. More than an hour has gone by, and I am now feeling the weight of my backpack on my shoulders. “Am I out of luck today?” – I was pondering.

Well, it’s a beautiful day – nice, sunny and warm and a perfect day for outdoors photos. If the spell of rains come along again, it would be tricky, although I have managed to get strangers into the project in two consecutive days recently when it was raining rather badly. But today is a perfect day so I must make the most out of it. With those thoughts I came down the stairs and decided to go somewhere taking the train. It took about ten more minutes and at best in an hour I have to call it quits for the day. My shoulders are heavier now – the weight, the standing and the walking – all were there to aggravate those feelings. I decided to give Circular Quay a shot. “There are probably a lot of tourists hanging around so why not try over there” – I thought.

And there you go. I am onboard and train is now heading to one of the most popular venues in Sydney CBD for outdoor fun – Circular Quay. It is not very far by train – only two stops and getting off I am now outside the station. The station is next to the wharf where the ferries operate. Lots of traffic and I am right in the middle. Unlike townhall where there is one intersection (next to Woolworths) which is the busiest compared to those close by, here are a few of them and they all seem like equally busy – traffic is distributed along.

Now the waiting. Minutes are going by, and I felt like I started to count seconds. I made but one approach and that was also unsuccessful. While doing this I saw a large parrot with a huge, long tail of gorgeous shiny feathers – of blue outside and yellow inside – and also very well trained to hang onto your shoulder when you walk. I followed it along and played with it, took photos of it, and helped others taking photos; some ten more minutes have gone by and finally I am about to finish off. My camera is still in my bag, haven’t turned it on yet for the whole day. The bright colors, the sunshine and the warmth are all but for myself to enjoy – I tried to rationalize.

And out of the blue I noticed someone hanging around that railing next to the waters – in less than five meters away, couple of strides only. Taking photos, waiting for someone, a tourist – who knows but I knew my instincts. Now I am heading towards her and in no time, I am next to with my welcome message “Hey” waving my hands “Can I take a photo of yours? Its’ for a project.”

“Okay” with a smile. It was kinda amusing for her, I guess.

Although I much prefer the longer ones where I would get to know my strangers a bit more, this encounter was rather one of those shorter episodes since I was running late. And hence, I decided to take some photos right there at the entrance to the station. Later, I took her to a nearby spot to capture a few more.

So, here is Jenn with her Vietnamese ancestry and a gorgeous smile on her face and into the financial business for last five years with a big dream on her career who came all the way after her business presentation earlier during the day to become my perfect subject here at Circular Quay later in the afternoon! Okay, that’s enough of intro for now so let’s get to the exciting chai-chat.

What caught my attention at the very beginning of this chat was her handshake; it was very firm. Since she was in good shape, I thought it was perhaps because of her jogging, weightlifting, cross-training or one of those similar activities that are popular nowadays. My hunch was fitness and absolutely nothing – even remotely – close to business. But proving me entirely wrong she replied: “in business you do a firm handshake” which was amusing.

What was even more amusing to me was what she told me next. In these days of Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok, Instagram and other ten billion plus one social media platforms where people constantly post updates 24/7, it was kinda surprising when she mentioned of not posting anything for the last four years! I jokingly remarked “WOW! you are one of those rearrest species on earth still surviving!” at which we both laughed. And when I enquired about it as to why “I am very critical of my photos” – she added. Well, that surely puts me in a tough position as I decided to break that spell finally by putting her photos on the web. Not sure, how successful I would be in my endeavor, but I must admit she looked good – not just good but rather stunning (in my very humble opinion).

Following a streak of having some fun with my strangers over the last few episodes I wanted to take those photos where both of us would let loose – making some memories for the sake of entertaining ourselves. I love having a good laugh – always, even at the expense of others. You may call it sarcasm, or worse, mental sickness! Whatever may be the case, I totally love making fun, be part of some fun, and of course having some fun. And what can be more amusing in future other than looking at something funny to savor those memories that we create through our camera lenses? Well, nothing.

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