Saturday, July 31, 2010

The old man

A couple of days ago, I was walking to the bus stop located in Macquarie Centre to catch my route to work just to find out that my bus had departure aThe old man, watching people passing by. little bit earlier than I expected… So looked back to find a spot in the bench close to me and there was an old man with a yellow rain coat waiting as well for the bus. He seemed to be contemplating the weather (sunny but a little bit cold), people passing by and every now and then, a bird or two searching for food.

I started walking towards the bench when I noticed him smiling at me… At that moment I just thought that Australians (in general) are so friendly that feels nice; confirmed just 10 seconds later when the old man turned to face me with an inquisitive look.



‘Hi… Where are you from?’ he asked.

‘Me? I am from Venezuela.’

‘Venezuela? Where is it?’

‘South America… ’

‘Uhms… I thought that South America was Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and some other countries with dictators…’

‘Well... Sir… You are right in one bit… Venezuela is one of those countries that with a dictator as “president”… but I really don’t want to talk about it; came to Australia to have a nice and easy life…’

(At the time didn’t know if I was rude… but the old man stood there quite for two minutes)

‘… yeah, this country is really good for that... I don’t know why so many youngsters want to move to the US… They don’t appreciate that much the beauty of an easy life. Onya

(Taking a look at the people passing by)

‘When I was young, I tended to ride a motorbike driving to the beaches… Loved it and it was beautiful. The water was crystal clear… In fact you could see without too much hassle fishes swimming in the water at the very Bondi beach.

… Of course those were war times… No one really wanted to go to war, but you needed to defend the country and the people you love!’

(Taking a good look at me)

‘You seem to be a fine young man... you haven’t been in any war, haven’t you?’

‘No Sir... I am a computer scientists’

‘A scientist??? Like those that send rockets to the moon?’

‘No Sir. Different type of scientist... I work with computers, writing software’

‘Uh! Software... Everything uses software now… My mobile has software… My computer has software… Even my fridge! Tells me when I had the lid open or how cold I want my stubby...

And what do you do?’

‘I work at Cochlear... The company that makes the hearing implants... We help deaf people.’


‘Well... the organ that allows you to hear is called cochlea... We created something like... a bionic cochlea that once implanted in the ear reproduces the sounds...’

‘Like a bionic ear? Oh dear... HA HA HA… I bet you must be really smart!’

‘Well... I am not the only one that works there... there is plenty of smart people working to develop the implants!

… Oh... my bus is there!’

In one quick jump, I was standing in front of the bus stop to catch it when I heard the old man...

‘I don’t know if I am a lousy bloke... I don’t have anything to do... do you mind if I take the same bus as you?’

‘Not at all... Are you going to the city or something?’

‘Nope... Just enjoyed to talk to you... not many people take 5 minutes to chat with their elders... And I would like to know a bit more about those computer-cyber-ears...’

And just like that I went to work.

I must admit that I was really interesting... the old man used lots of Aussie slangs (most of them already forgotten by me) but told me bits and pieces of the neighbourhood, surrounding areas and some Lane Cove history.

Man waiting

In conclusion, I had a really nice chat which made my trip short and pleasant.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting and enriching chat!
It's awesome to have conversation with foreigners and share cultures.

G y J said...


thanks for this lovely story... It makes me want, even more, to get my visa as soon as possible to finally get there...
Thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Great post Rod! I think you made a new friend... :)

mikapoka said...

Ciao, lovely post, so glad I stumbled upon your blog 'cause this is one of the most heartwarming posts I've ever read surfing the web. I wish you all the best down there, I'll be back, ciao!

Rod said...

@Nancy, thanks for the comment... Indeed is really nice to meet people like this man. I am looking forward to meet him again.

@G&J, Getting the visa is just one step... Living your dreams properly is another thing. Thanks for the comment.

@Nena, I don't know... The bus (and its stop) is an interesting place if you are in a good mood :P

@mikapoka, grazie per il tuo commento. I am really glad you liked it. (BTW, welcome to my blog).