It was my last day of work, one of the deepest Vancouver snow days I've seen, and I end up on the C21 instead of the C23 after getting off the Skytrain. I was feeling a bit humbled. A lot of people had said a lot of nice words to me at end of year drinks, and I had had some great conversations with some great work colleagues.
I sat down in the C21 next to a middle aged lady, maybe mid 50s. After a few minutes she starts talking about the snow and how it was meant to be melted by afternoon, but there was no chance at all of that! I agreed and then we started talking about the chaos of the public transport system that morning. It sounded like I had left for work a bit earlier than her, and needing to get out to Burnaby, she had felt the brunt of the snow. Apparently the bus up Robson had not been working as it couldn't negotiate the slippery hill, the Skytrain had been working intermittently, and hearing all this I was stoked I made an effort to get out the door early today!
We continued talking, and a few words I uttered gave way to me being an Aussie. She asks where I'm from, and then she starts telling me that she had lived in Darwin in 82 for a year, and then Sydney for a few months. Darwin had been a pretty wild town back then she said, especially for two young Canadian girls who turned up in Darwin as they didn't have enough money to get any further than that after time in South East Asia.
She commented on all the kind people she met in Australia, and I likened the Australian people to Canadians and why I had found it so easy to settle in over here. This got us to talking about life experience and how it is such an experience to go and totally immerse yourself within a culture, and to not try and impose your culture, but to absorb theirs. Even if you don't agree with it or enjoy your experience, you are in a foreign culture, you put yourself there, and that is what is the fun part of that experience. Make the most of it! Immerse yourself within it and understand that you put yourself there so make the most of it.
I got off that bus at Beach and Bidwell. I asked the lady to pull the bus stop cable for me so I didn't have to be rude and reach over her. I bid her a great evening, thanked her for the conversation and walked out into the snowy cold, quite likely that I will never see her again, yet we shared such an intimate conversation.