Saturday, 3 September 2011

In the city of churches

I've just come back from Adelaide.  I always do come back from Adelaide.  I wouldn't like to stay in Adelaide.  In fact, I hadn't been to Adelaide for quite a while and that was just fine with me.  Adelaide is not my favourite place in the world.

This was a brief business trip and I was pleasantly surprised.  I had several pleasantly surprising experiences which left me feeling happier about the place.

On the flight over a big, tall man wedged himself into the middle seat next to me where I was already in the window seat.  I was very tired, having had an intense few days of work and was looking forward to a nap.  I looked up briefly and commented on the wedging factor (in a sympathetic, funny way) and turned back to my book.  Then he started talking to me.  I was resistant initially, but he was such a friendly, interesting and interested person that we had a very lively conversation all the way to the baggage carousel.

Then the taxi driver who took me to my hotel said hello and was happy to drive me to my hotel.  I pictured the headline on the front page of The Advertiser the following morning: "Taxi driver happily drives passengers!"

I checked into my hotel and was settling into my room when the phone in the room rang.  It was reception.  My heart sank - they'd be calling to tell me my credit card had declined.  No!  They were calling to check that everything was okay with my room.  I was impressed!  I'd stayed in much more expensive and high end hotels than this one and this had never happened before.  It was a nice touch.

My work the next day went very well.  A wonderful group of really decent, down to earth people were participating in the workshop I was facilitating.  Even though the room was hot and stuffy spending time with them was a joyful experience.  But I was ready to go home.  I arrived at the airport two hours before my flight was due to leave and was dreading the soulless hanging around that is necessary in an airport.  What a pleasant surprise it was to hear live music!  A nice looking bloke was set up with an amplifier and was singing and playing guitar in the middle of the airport.  Now this was something I'd never seen before.

During a break in his playing I asked him how he came to be there.  I thought busking would be an unusual pursuit in an airport.  He told me that Adelaide airport hires musicians to play every Friday afternoon/evening!  How progressive!  How fantastic!  He agreed it was and told me that he really enjoys the gig.  I told him I was really enjoying the music.  He told me his next song was his last song.  I sat and listened.  He finished.

I went back to my soulless waiting.

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