Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published May 30, 2022

It was a wonderfully beautiful day today (May 27, 2022). With the winter starting in full swing here in Sydney in just about a couple of days, the morning sunlight seems very much like a daily necessity these days. So, when I see the sunlight, I get very excited and, I spend some time in the front yard for taking a sunbath pretty much every day. I like how it makes my shoulders warm as I stand there putting the sun at my back.

I grew up in a village in a rural area. The wool blankets that are found here were totally absent during those days. Needless to say, room heater was not an option at all. The blankets that were prevalent back then were entirely different – made of the Kapok fiber. And during the winter there was that one thing my mom used to do – put those blankets out in the sun on her off days. If its sunny she would put those blankets in the sun right before midday when the sun is about to reach its peak and the morning mist is dissolved. And by late afternoon she would fold it back home putting it on top of the bed. And during this interval she would turn them upside down a couple of times. With the hot sun it kills the germs – she would say. But I liked it for another reason – the warmth. The kapok blankets feel warm and cozy when you go to bed at night, some eight, nine hours since they have been taken off sunlight. It was one of the most cherishing feelings I ever had – the soothing feeling of warmth on a freezing cold skin!

I have been terribly busy with work over the past few days. And autumn is about to finish so I had to decide between the two – going for a long drive or get back into the project. Well, I choose both since I had two days off – I kept one day for my beloved autumn leaves and another for my pet project. Hence, yesterday was very tiring and also, very thrilling as I decided to go for the drive. Lots of walking, sitting, standing, bending, driving and photo taking. Since I had to sit down in squat position for a few photos, the muscles in my body are at a total rebellion, especially my thighs. Pain – only one word that defines it all. Two days on I am still feeling it at pretty much every fiber of my lower body. Despite those pains I couldn’t resist the temptation of picking up my camera again – today; too passionate or perhaps too stubborn – I had to question myself! 

When I arrived today the platform was slightly busy with a few people around and with two more minutes to go I had just enough time to get onboard at the rear end. The three-seater back seat was taken on the upper deck, so I went to the lower deck and took the single next to the windows where sunlight is hitting. I was trying to watch some videos, but I had to give up the idea as I felt sleepy – pretty fast. The warmth of the sunlight coupled with the moving train made a perfect atmosphere for drowsiness – slowly drifting into the quietness. The passengers talking next whom I could hear loud and clear minutes earlier now being heard slurred – unclear – muttered. 

Getting off at Museum station I decided to cruise around. I saw a large gathering of the Australian army at Anzac memorial. Up in the sky there were flags – flying and flapping in the cool breeze – Australian flag along with aboriginal flags attached to the top of the mast.

And those colors – the gorgeous autumn colors – yellow, orange and red. Few weeks back I went to Blackheath, and few days back I went to Mt Wilson on a rainy day, and yesterday I went to Matcham. To quench my thirst for those colors I was out and about. Yet, those vibrant colors in the sunshine were the only thing that caught my eyes. I found them very refreshing.

Almost an hour has gone by since I came here without any approaches whatsoever and after walking here and there, I decided to go somewhere else. And on my walk, there I noticed some teddy bears from a distance having a goodnight sleep 😴 in the midday sun lying by the windows. The tiny little shop – selling soft toys for the toddlers – hiding at the entrance to the hospital next to Martin Place.

Later, I went to Bondi Junction. I made a few approaches there and they all turned me down. Finally, I came back to townhalls just before I would finish off and I was standing next to the underground stairs that leads to the station gates.

Thousands of people are passing by every minute or so. They are walking fast, and by the time you made up your mind of approaching them, they are pretty much gone in their direction further away. I saw her coming in my way eating from an ice cream. It was but for a moment of thinking and with that moment gone she has now walked past me and for some reason I started walking in the same direction as hers and with a couple of strides I went close enough intercepting her from the side in my usual way: “Hey, can I take a photo of yours?? It’s for a project”

“What kind of project” – she replied while chipping from the ice-cream bar and chewing in her mouth. 

“Okay. Can I show you?”

“Sure” – she replied with the chewing paused for a moment.

I went ahead and pulled up the Flickr page for 100 strangers on my phone. And she agreed to join with a smile. Later, I showed her my blog telling her that this is where I put my stuff as I was scrolling down that webpage.

And as I was standing next to her, I noticed the color of that ice-cream – dark(ish) green.

I like chocolates but I am not a big fan of ice-cream. So can’t be certain. But, from the looks of it I suppose it was of some apple or lime flavor perhaps.

I was about to finish for the day after long walks, and muscle pains from yesterday. So, I decided to keep it short. She added later that she was also on her class break, so I decided to take some photos right next to the footpath where we were standing. 

So, here is Tracey (Thanh Ha) born and raised in Australia with her Vietnamese ancestry studying business and creative innovation at USYD.

It was about ten-fifteen minutes that we interacted and there we talked about her favorite memories while she fights her fifteen-year-old younger brother, pulling each other’s hair. 

When I remarked about her Vietnamese looks pointing out that she looks very similar to many of colleagues in my workplace, she added with some intrigue that her mom works the same place too. In addition, her high school memories of singing quays and failing to sing that only line she was to perform brought about some laughs on both of us.

However, what was surprisingly interesting about her was never having a crush on anyone! Even on actors – not even on infamous Hugh Jackman as “he is of my fathers’ age”! Well, I have to admit with some shame and guilt that I had many crushes on actresses and even on a tennis player many years ago! Time changed and I kinda got over it by now; perhaps because I don’t watch movies very often these days. But fantasies are fantasies, and I am very susceptible to those infectious feelings. You may get over them but overcoming the impulse – resisting the temptation seems difficult to me given how they make you feel!

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