As I got on the train yesterday heading into the city, seats were few and far between. They often are on a Saturday morning as people head into market to get their weekly groceries.
A little old Asian lady sits on a seat, bags at her feet, bags beside her and while my first thought was a sigh at people taking up more room than they should, my second was a polite request to see if I may sit alongside her.
She apologised, and mid cough, removed her bag so I could sit.
We travelled along quietly, I, like most of my fellow passengers staring at my phone, playing games, clearing email, killing time.
She watches me and remarks on how clever phones are, how everyone seems to be on them and so I put mine down, smile at her, engaged, and listening.
It’s funny just how much ground you can cover in a 15minute train ride. We talked about the markets, the trains being replaced by buses, and about technology and about family.
She has two sisters living in France.
I asked her how it was possible for her to have come to Australia, and her two sisters to be living in France and so she told me…
About the Thai refugee camps.
About the waiting..,
With tears in her eyes, about seeing a person be shot and killed in front of her.
About only being aware of France and America as options of other places to go for safety and how it felt when it came time for HER choice that the doors to those places were closed, and how her sisters couldn’t sponsor her.
So she waited until they told her “You’re going to Australia”.
A place she’d never heard of.
A place she knew nothing about.
And she thanks her god every day that she ended up here.
With nod and a big smile she says, “Lucky, very Lucky!”
Yesterday talking to a stranger on the train.
I felt like the lucky one.