Tale of an adventure - meeting Everyday people wherever they are

100 Strangers, 100 Personalities, 100 Stories

welcome to yet another episode

Published June 6, 2022

It was one of those very few days when after shooting my first encounter I had a second one. Coincidentally though in all those cases so far, the very next person I approached said “yes”. Now, during our last photoshoot we were talking about cricket as my other stranger was raised in one of the areas where a legendary cricketer – Don Bradman – was hailed from – Bowral. And I had to point out how crazy and emotional people are in my birth country and the surrounding region when it comes to playing cricket – the prestige associated with those winnings and losings – the humiliating defeat or the thrilling victory – the uproar in the crowd, or the deafening silence or even the crying – the craze and the madness! 

You might know as well, as how the great cricketers are respected as “Gods” in some parts. Whether it’s pretense or profound is not the point but craziness of us, the rampant emotions that runs viral through our veins is the only logical explanation that I could think of.

And, talking about cricket, one of the special scenarios in the game of cricket is when you have scored three wickets in three consecutive bowls – it’s called a “hat-trick”.

Well, in my journey so far, I haven’t been able to score a “hat-trick” – getting three “yes” in three consecutive approaches but it shall remain at the back of my head from now on for sure!

So, after my first encounter was over, I was about to head home. In fact, I went to the station after bidding goodbye to my other stranger with a big hug. I checked the clock, and it was 1.33 pm – early afternoon. And I thought – “well, I can do it in ten-fifteen minutes or so and as such why going home now, let’s spend like another half an hour before calling it quits for the day”. And with that thought, from the entrance to St James station I came upstairs following the tunnel and went to the top where the intersection is, across Barracks Museum.

And as I was standing there, in less than a minute I saw her walking past by the other side of the road. The signal turned green and there were cars and other vehicles, so I had to wait but as soon as the cars gone by, and the street became clear of incoming vehicles, I went to the other side of the street running standing right in front of her as she was texting in the footpath, stalled. Waving my hand to catch her attention I went ahead saying “hey, can I take a photo of yours? it’s for a project”. 

She wanted to know the derails and I pulled out my blog on my phone and after seeing it she happily came along. She mentioned of having some appointment in about fifteen-twenty minutes – around 2pm – but to my delight we continued for almost an hour or perhaps even more.

So, here is Nicole Yang coming from mainland China and perusing her master’s degree of Social Work. The first thing I noticed was her demeanor. When I saw her, she didn’t strike me quite as a yoga girl, but it turns out she was. As I started shooting walking across the street, she demanded boldly by saying: “I really want to close my eyes” for making a pose for the photo and I obeyed her command immediately!

“Did you take photos of a lot of Chinese people?” She wanted to know, and I had to tell her I didn’t. Most of the people that joined my Australian version of the project are born here in Australia or living here for a considerable amount of time – local in other words. So far, I have only one exception. But the rest of them are pretty much local in one way or another.

And to my delight, she went on telling me as to why.

“Because Chinese people are very shy in front of the camera.” …

“My mom told me not to put pictures on the internet.”

Well, that sounds like a good advice from a cautious mom. And going through my collection I think I have shot only one person with Chinese ancestry. However, the interesting thing was learning a new word – ABC.

So, to sum up I only have been able to shoot one Australian Born Chinese – ABC in her words who joined my project up until now. Looks like meeting strangers is a sure-fire way to upgrade your vocabulary!

Her cat Koko who loves Dominos was very adorable and I wanted to see her and have her seen. So, she sent Koko to me for a cuddle and a hug. But, only in the photo form! – Virtual. So here is another virtual cuddle and a big hug for our good looking, and handsome Koko!

Many years ago, my mom used to have a cat with those amazing black and white stripes. He was adopted. And was very playful until one day he disappeared. 

Covid lockdowns took toll on many families splitting them apart. She was stuck in Sydney and wanted to go back to China, but she can’t go back to China as zero covid politics and mandatory isolation that is currently being imposed is very costly as well as mentally very strenuous for her to handle at this stage.

On the bright side, her decayed teeth that she was finally able to fix after a prolonged battle with doctors and spending a small fortune, brought her to some shining smiles amid those dejected feelings as we departed.

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