Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published May 10, 2022

Over the past few days, it was sunny and sparkly but now the rain spell seems to be back. It was actually shiny earlier in the morning with a refreshingly bright sunlight coupled with that golden glow and soft warmth, but it didn’t last very long; the sunshine was over, and the dark cloud started to fill in. By the time I was ready and as I stepped out, it already started to rain. Once again, I decided not to take the umbrella with me but unlike the few other episodes in the past – this time though – I was rather mercilessly punished by mother nature for my misconduct! But on the bright side, I was greatly rewarded too – for my endeavor in this rain – having met with a gorgeous, super expressive and super sunny stranger!

Today it was two minutes to go before the train would arrive and by the time I made my way towards the rear end of the station, the train almost came to a halt and with the beeping noise the doors opened wide. I jumped onboard onto the top deck and since my backseat in the direction of travel was taken, the only choice I was left with was to capture the one across – in the opposite direction of travel.

With my head rested against the walls, now I am facing the people sitting in front of me. The compartment was rather empty today and as such not much drama took place along this journey although I was ready for it! The digital space is occupying the minds of many; the mobile phone in a lonely compartment seems to be one of the best options not to feel lonely even for a second.

Half an hour has passed, and I got off at St James station; walking under the tunnel and climbing up the stairs now I am at the entrance next to Macquarie St, under the trees. It was raining and I am without my umbrella and to my help mother nature extended her arms providing some trees overhead, to look after her favorite child even when he is unruly! It was rather a drizzle, not a heavy rain as yet.

The footpaths and those ever-green leaves glistened in the fresh rains. As the cool breeze is now blowing, those leaves of the trees kept swaying back and forth but unlike those dancing leaves I was rather fixed, stalled and unmoving – feeling the chill – freezing.

It’s getting cooler here in Sydney and the good news is people are now wearing more colorful dresses, especially the long trench coats that are so fashionable during the season. I am here for about fifteen minutes now and all of a sudden, I noticed her walking past along one of those footpaths and there you go – she is wearing one of those colorful trench coats. Without a second thought I decided to give her a try. Rainy day is always a challenge, so I kept my high hopes aside but at the back of my head I kept thinking of her blond hair, and colorful dress which would be a great combination against the backdrop of this glistening green.

I started to walk in the same direction and within a few minutes I am now next to her and as I am getting good at bothering other people these days, I said rather loudly “Excuse me!” from the side. She looked sidewise probably taking her headphone off at which I made my bold demand: “Can I take a photo of yours? It’s for a project” And to my delight with a smile she agreed to come along!

And there you go: my super gorgeous, super shiny, super sunny and ever young Centaine BRONKHORST – born in South Africa and hailed from Perth and now on a short trip to Sydney. Her expressive face was a delight from the get-go.

And there we talked – about “Mr Business” – her favorite cat, her adoption of the cat after his bladder cancer, twenty-four (24) tattoos along with some “embarrassing” ones from her favorite shows – Rick & Morty,  and Bart Simpsons, and some spiritual ones like “peace” etched on top of her belly, her biggest accomplishments of managing five (5) stores at an early age of eighteen, fighting her older brother and always wining, getting super indulgent of piercings and eyelashes, doing and undoing (removing) of those piercings “for better” as she is now a vet-nurse, learning how to do toasting and laundry as a little child from Silvia – her family’s maid back in South Africa, and of course about her twenty-four years old favorite piece of clothing – that long colorful trench coat that caught my eye minutes earlier.

One thing she loved to talk about was her “bitch-face”. When I showed her one of those photos on my camera and asked with a big laugh: “Do you want me to put this one?… Everyone’s’ gonna see” … “Oh My God! You look like you drank a lot!”


“I love that one!…  yeah… That one is perfect!” – she added giggling.

Although I love to get to know my strangers and they tell me everything about their life – entrust me with their secrets, I feel the necessity not to write about those “secrets” simply because those secrets are good if you want to connect with someone but telling it to everyone – putting their face on the web – I feel an urge not to – not to break that bonding crossing my line – not to feel pleasure out of someone’s misfortune (or a “lesson” as they themselves might sometimes define it) – not to feel victorious about getting to know them ins and outs. With her permission of course I have decided to share some of it to my readers.

The way her family separated, getting into the unknown at the age of seventeen to handle life on her own, getting offtrack into the dark world of addiction and coming out on the other side and finally being in a relationship that held her on the grip – of fear, of abuse and of control, almost brought her into the tears!

Shortly after this chat she left. I don’t know whether she cried later during the day. It was raining – more than drizzle now – as I was there packing all my stuff after bidding goodbye with a hug and some fun photos. From behind I saw her walking following along the footpath towards St James station. As you walk in that rain nobody would ever notice even if you cried. Sydney – the big city of Sydney where there is so much to do and see, where life doesn’t stop – even on rainy days – nobody would perhaps notice even if you did cry even when it’s sunny!

She has been on a short trip to Sydney – about a week. And I asked earlier “What did you do?” She mentioned of visiting the aquarium, zoo, art gallery, museum all by herself. “The city (Sydney) is so big compared to Perth” … “there is so much to do and see” – she remarked.

As we started to chat, earlier at one point, I asked: “what was your most delicious memory that you always savor”?

“My dad and I used to always go to the park, and he taught me how to use the camera” … “but totally my fondest memory is my dad teaching me how to use the camera” … “Used to go to the museums, all the different art gallery and everything” … “because he is also an artist” “He is very artsy” – she added.

After this encounter was over, after I have packed my stuff, I stood there for a moment under the tree – a couple of strides away from where I was taking her photos. The rain is now getting worse and dripping from the leaves of the overhead trees, the raindrops are falling all over – everywhere. Without my umbrella however, I had to find a shed as quickly as possible not to damage my camera in that rain. Subsequently, I started running. With some big jumps I ended up under the shed at the entrance to the station by the intersection. While waiting there for the sky to be clear, my mind went blank as my eyes were grazing around those people crossing the street with their umbrellas.

Mother’s Day just finished. There is also a Father’s Day probably around the corner. There is always a day for everything. Is it a way to remind people? Or to keep them busy – giving some distractions, some means to sell more gifts – never got my head around it; always seems puzzling to me. But one thing I found to be essential in life is to look forward. Buying gifts or celebrating this day or that might be a well-mannered gesture but spending time with someone that you love, that you value doesn’t cost you anything, but it is rather priceless and perhaps the most important of all the rest.

error: Content is protected !!