I must look like a weirdo every week on the street when I'm looking for somebody to talk to. There's strict rules in place: it must happen organically, and it has to be a complete stranger. I'm learning so much from doing it, especially how wrong my pre-conceived ideas are. Nobody has said no to me yet, and every single time without fail I've walked away from the conversation a little lifted.
After narrowing it down to a girl with glasses who looked like a uni student, a mother with a baby, and a couple of German backpackers ... I saw John.
At first I thought he was a parking inspector. (I would *love* to chat with a parking inspector.) But he's not, he works for Telstra.
John just moved back to his hometown of Orange six months ago after living in Brisbane for twenty years.
"It was just time. Brisbane has so many people now - it's changed."
Johns wife is a nurse and they have two adult sons who stayed back in Brisbane. He was born in Parkes. He's not going to miss the Queensland weather because "it's too stinkin' humid anyway."
I asked him if he was going to miss his friends but he said no, not really. He thinks city people and country people are different. He lives on a farm, has a cat and a dog, and some fruit trees.
The black thing he's carrying is a hydrogen checker thingo. When he explained how it works, my brain blanked out like Homer Simpson. (Sorry John.) He likes his job, is pretty much his own boss.
He laughed when I asked him if he's on Facebook, shook his head. No way.
He doesn't have any regrets in life.
"Really? Not even one?"
"Not even one."
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