It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
It might be hot but King St has lots of shade. There are patches where the awnings have been modernised away, that’s when you notice the merciless sun. I dont mind the summer in Newtown, even if it does make the place a little bit smelly. I like that, it seems ‘European’. It was hot. I was out wandering for an hour or so while my girlfriend had her hair done. I’d found a new coffee lounge, just off in a side street. That’s where we met. He was behind the bar, the place was empty. It looked good, impressive espresso machine, all chrome and pearly inlays. Didnt recognise the make, but it seemed suitably Italian. The place felt like it’d been there for years, but I know O’Connell St really well. I’ve been there for years. I sat down. He came from behind the bar with my coffee. ‘Strong, not too much milk, one sugar’.
I’d like to tell you that there was a note of triumph in his voice, but there wasn’t. It was matter of fact, but not unfriendly. As a matter of fact, the cappucino was perfect. ‘How did you know what I wanted? It’s perfect by the way.’ Seemed a reasonable question to me, I hadn’t said a thing so far. ‘Saw you coming…. yesterday.’ Now that was a small note of triumph, wasn’t it? ‘You found the place.’ ‘Yesterday? I wasn’t here yesterday.’ ‘Neither was I’ he said, ‘We just got here.’ * It was the beginning of a long friendship, a very long friendship. It’s stretched about a thousand years so far, and that’s just in the first hour. My girlfriend is still at the hairdressers, that’s what my watch says .As to me? I’ve been around, I can tell you. I will tell you. ‘I need your help.’ he said. ‘There’s no longer always a Goth on the platform at Newtown station.’
The Universe was changing and most of the inhabitants were not happy .about that.
Selected views of King St, Newtown, NSW, Australia.