From the airport to home is about 45 minutes.
Driver: “The only purebred Aussie driver in Melbourne” in his late 60’s and married for 40 years.
Today I was lucky to get an early flight home from Sydney. Not so lucky with the driver who appeared unshaven, unkempt, long gray hair, dark t-shirt and very old jacket. He was not very friendly either. But when he found out that it will be a long drive, his mood changed for the better.
Considering all of that, I decided to sit in the back and not get into conversation. A couple minutes later he asked me a few casual questions about my day and my trip and somehow, slowly, the dialog started. Soon, we found out that we both are mad about traveling and had visited the same countries. We also never visit Zoos because we believe wild animals must remain wild. He has traveled much more than me; hitchhiking all over Europe, backpacking in Mexico, hiking up Machu Pichu, visiting Nepal and India, Malaysia, Singapore, Cambodia, Burma etc. According to him, it was easier to name the countries where he has never been.
The driver highly recommends to go to Israel because it’s bursting with history, suggested to be careful in Turkey and Burma and insisted on African countries (Somali in particular).
I just could not believe we were having this conversation, because he didn’t look anything like a person who could afford traveling in the first place. We talked a bit about politics and what changes are needed badly, but I don’t find those topics particularly interesting.
Crossing the beautiful Bolte Bridge and looking at the City, I could not stop praising Melbourne and declaring my love for it. The driver easily agreed with me. Afterwards he said something which made my day.
– Do you know there is only one problem with Melbourne?
– No. What is it?
– Everybody wants to live here.
But isn’t that a good problem to have?