I take buses to transport my daughter to her various activities. We have a bus stop outside our home, and it proves much easier than driving to the station. I have met many characters on public transport; from the chatty young lady going to her first job, through to an eighty year old on her way to volunteer work. The other day, I got talking to a beautiful woman in her fifties. She disclosed that she was on her way to her job, four hours away on the Central Coast! She had met her partner, and moved to my area, but still had to travel for work. I was aghast. She had to stay on the Central Coast a few nights a week, and was keen to get local work. She was from the Philippine’s and had owned her own business, travelling the world. I admire people who come to a new country, leaving loved ones and careers. I can only imagine how it feels to start anew. She regaled me with stories of her travels, and her favourite places. I put the word out and many wonderful friends came up with suggestions as to where she could find work.
The next day, I chatted to a lady with a broad smile. She works in a local nursing home and is having treatment for breast cancer. Her hair is starting to come back, and she is delighted to find that it is silky and superior to the hair she had before chemo. She asked what she could use for her dry skin, and I suggested coconut oil. It’s cheap and effective! It was awe-inspiring to see this lady snatch back her life from cancer’s grip. She said it was an amazing feeling, to be able to work; to go out and feel like herself again. She gets weary easily, and is factoring in plenty of rest time too.
Catching the local bus is a way to find connection in your local community. The stories you hear and the people you meet… It’s humbling. Sometimes it is easier to disclose the contents of your heart to a stranger. Sometimes a stranger becomes a cherished friend. I am glad I am not limited to travelling in my own tin can; insular and disconnected. It is quite a feeling, to receive a hug from a fellow passenger at journey’s end.