Talking to a stranger 


As the train departed the platform, a young lady sat down in the seat beside me. She smiled and I went back to reading my magazine.

As more passengers boarded at the next station, a young gentleman approached the the lady sitting next to me and said hello. She smiled and responded and went back to scrolling through her iPhone.

He then asked if she was going to work or uni, and she once again politely replied she was heading to uni, and left it at that.

At this point I thought they may have known one another, but the next few questions made me shelve that logic. 

He asked if she had a boyfriend and then if she was living at home. Her replies were more blunt and it was obvious she didn’t know this guy from a bar of soap.

The next question had me doing a double take. He asked how much rent she paid. Her response was that it was a personal matter. He nodded and moved away and got off at the next station.


Once he was off, she looked at me, shrugged, smiled and went back to her iPhone.

It’s times like this that we shouldn’t talk to strangers. 

Nonetheless, a very interesting way to start my day, to say the least. 

Missed opportunities 


Some things slip through our fingers when we least expect them. It’s after the event we realise how much of a missed opportunity it really was.


We can’t go back and relive what we missed out on, but we can make amends by having another go at the opportunity which slid past us at a rapid rate of knots.

Some of the missed opportunities we can only blame ourselves for, while others are taken away, leaving us with a longing for what we missed.


This was the case earlier this year for me, a trip to Europe, starting in France and then through to Italy to visit family. But, due to a negligent driver, my trip was cancelled due to injuries incurred, and so were my dreams of sipping coffee and eating freshly made croissants in the very heart of Paris.


Just because I missed out on this opportunity, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. All that’s needed is some spare time and holiday planning.

So when an opportunity is missed, it’s not the end of the world. Get up and have another shot at it. We only live once and deserve to be happy, and to make the most of every moment.


Don’t wait, enjoy life, it may be taken away in the blink of an eye.

A change of musical tastes 


As I sat on the train heading home from the city, an elderly Asian gentleman sat down next to me for the remaining few stations of my trip.


The train was crowded with school aged children and adults heading home on the earlier train.

It was a little strange when he turned on the music on his iPhone and began listening to his cultural music.

Nice music I thought, but where are your headphones? They never made an appearance for the next few stations, so I enjoyed a musical taste of Asia.

I didn’t mind, but the school kids did give him a few strange looks. Hoping the remainder of his trip home was musically infused.

The Road Less Traveled

With another ride all planned out for the day, I headed down the peninsula and towards a ride that always makes me wonder why I keep attempting it on a regular basis. Arthur’s Seat is a 4.5 km ride that ensures my legs are screaming for mercy, half way up. It’s at that point I keep asking myself. Why?

The reason I keep pushing myself up the hill is for the views from the top, and they are spectacular. No matter what the weather, rain or shine, the pain from the ride always seems worthwhile. Well, in my mind it seems worth the effort.

 

So on this particular ride, I decided to take an alternate route home, one which I had only ridden once, and it was with another rider who knew the area like the back of his hand. With a certain clarity, I headed down the back roads that I thought would eventually take me back to the main road and to some semi flat tracks.

The trip back down should have taken no longer than 15 minutes, so when I was still riding along a road that didn’t look very familiar, I did what most men would do, keep going until a sign post came by to look for further directions.

I knew I was well off the beaten track after another 45 minutes, but the views on both sides of the road were well worth the pedal power, and the roads were all rolling  hills, so I assumed the remainder of the trip home would have similar gradients. How wrong could I have been?

After finally finding a road name that was very familiar, I headed in the direction of home, having already been out on the road for over 90 minutes, so I estimated another 60 minutes on the road. Another bad judgment call.

The next two hours saw me riding through some of the toughest and longest hills I had cycled through in a long while.  With every turn, the road continued to climb higher and my legs screamed for a break. I finally gave my legs a rest after an hour of climbing, and could only wonder how much further I had to ride before I arrived at a section of flat road.

As I rested for a few minutes, I noticed another cyclist coming up the hill, struggling a lot less than I had been. I waved him down and asked how far back to the main road.

About another 20 kms, and some decent climbing still to come he said as he waved goodbye and continued onward.

Feeling my heart sink a little,and with no other option but to go forward, I got back on the bike and peddled for another hour before I finally hit the main road. By that stage, I was tired, sore and cursing my lack of direction.  But, I had been on an adventure for the day, one I would not forget in a hurry, and neither would my aching legs.

The pain stayed with me until the next day when I headed out for a ride on some more familiar and flatter roads. No harm in mixing up my rides.

My feelings on that morning are summed up in the Talking Heads song. 

Road to Nowhere

 

 

 

Are you listening?

During one of my train trips home, i settled back into a seat opposite an elderly couple, took out my iPhone and headphones and plugged in so I could listen to the sounds of the 80s once again and chill out after another long and frustrating day at the office.

Even though I had my music playing, it was on low enough to overhear the following  conversation between the elderly couple.

Wife: Hand me your phone.
Husband looks at her for a moment and hands phone over to his wife.

Wife plays on the phone for a few moments and then asks. Have you changed the password to the website?

Husband: Looking a little annoyed. No. I tried getting in and the password didn’t work so I tried to change it.

Wife: Shakes her head and sighs out loudly. So you changed it?

Husband: No. I tried and still couldn’t get in.

Wife: What did you change the password to?

Husband: Summer25

Wife: Now very agitated. So you changed it to Summer25?

Husband: No. I tried to change it but it failed.

Wife tries new password and it works.

Wife: You changed the password.

Husband: No. I tried to change the password.

Wife: The password is now Summer25

Husband: Looking a little confused. When did the password change?

Wife shakes her head and hands phone back.

Train Amusement

Some people can amuse themselves just about anywhere it seems. And on a train is just another place to have a laugh.

As I headed home one evening on the ever efficient metro train system, I sat across from a guy who was watching a video on his iPhone. He had his earphones plugged in so not to disturb the other passengers.

I’m guessing it must have been a really good video, as every few minutes and he would snort out loud (SOL).

Not that this was a real concern, but the fact that he kept dipping his hand into a brown paper bag and pulling out munchies did make me wonder what else he would do on the train to keep himself amused.

I guess I will keep a lookout for him over the coming weeks.

Never Judge a Book by its Cover

After being cooped up in the house for over seven weeks, it was time I ventured out into the wilds. Well, at least the wilds of Eastland. 
So with a start time set and bus timetable sorted, I headed off into the cold for my first road trip. 
Apart from the bus arriving 10 minutes late, and the light drizzle, the day was off to a good start. My MYKI card still worked and the bus was much warmer than the cold bus stop. 
The bus trip was exactly as I remembered; boring. But it did get me to the station where I only had to wait 11 minutes for the next train. I looked over at the small coffee shop inside the station and decided it would be best if I waited for my coffee.  
Once the train arrived, close enough to its scheduled time, I boarded and headed to the disabled seats. They are a little wider and have a straighter back. 

With only two stops to my destination, I waited as passengers boarded at the next stop. And that is where I received a dirty look from a middle aged woman as she looked at me sitting in the disabled seats. I had no crutches or walking stick and I seemed fit and healthy. So why should I be taking up these particular seats.  
Sometimes a person may not seem like they are hurt, injured or broken in any shape or form, but they may be hurting in a way not seen by others. She couldn’t see my back brace and thought I was being inconsiderate. 
A few words would have cleared the air and I wouldn’t have had to put up with her filthy look for the next few minutes. 
Just because a person may not look hurt in any way, it never hurts to ask. Are you OK? The response may actually surprise you and a difficult situation can be resolved quickly.