“Getting to Know You” (Day 163)
It was certainly a "Getting to Know You" kind of day, a place and three stranger, 2 who I reckon "we'll meet again" - All this singing - eh!
Apologies repeating myself; connecting with people really is so rewarding, and I realise that pre-travelling, I didn’t make time to chat with strangers. Today we chatted with three people who we had never met before and what a joy it was. Two of them connected with me on …you’ve guessed it – Facebook, on the Three Principles in Australia group. The other…well, you’re get to read.
Another early start to the day, we caught a train to South Yarra, tram to South Melbourne, quick walk and there was Roan Theron waiting for us outside @StAli Café, a rather nondescript building, however inside was very different, a bustling and lively place. Sadly the travel took longer than expected and Roan had a work meeting to attend to, so our conversation would be cut short. We shared our stories and was fascinated to hear how after having his first child, Roan and his wife decided to move to New Zealand from their home in South Africa to get away from all the troubles that were escalating. They then moved to Melbourne three years ago when he was offered a job with Datacom. He came across 3P and now coaches his 130 staff members with an understanding of how humans experience life; noticing the changes in people, more relaxed, at ease, creative, productive etc.
One of Roan’s passions is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he is head coach at The Gracie Barra Hoppers Crossing. We loved hearing how understanding the 3P has really benefited his students. Beforehand, they would have tons of thinking prior to a match, some having rituals that they felt they had to do. Lots of energy being used up focusing on unhelpful things and that was before their fight. Now, they are more relaxed and their attention is on the game. He was interested in my book “Got It” as he’d love to write a book himself. I so hope he does. It would be a game changer for the Jiu-Jitsu and other sporting community and the benefits always leak out into everyday life. Such a lovely chap and we would have loved to have spent more time together. I am sure our paths will meet one day. (Forgot to take a photo so found one of Roan on google.)
Opposite the café was more great Graffiti and I nearly got eaten by a monster! We hopped on another tram to St Kilda. Our son John loved it there when he visited. I wondered if it had changed from 28 years ago. A real mix of buildings, grand “old” Victorian villas with beautiful iron railings, modern Bauhaus styled blocks of flats, such an eclectic mix. The people living here are too. We saw the pier with its rebuilt Kiosk. In 2003 a fire had destroyed the original one that was 99 year old. We headed that way, and so glad we did. Right at the end of the pier are huge rocks banked up. We knew that we were there at the wrong time to see the Little Penguins waddle in from their day at work, catching fish. Hey-ho.
We noticed a man feeding the seagulls. After a while we got chatting with him. Martin came over from Germany 50 years ago and has been coming to this pier daily for the past 20 years. He knows the resident animals intimately, and pointed out to us a couple of Little Penguins hiding in their burrows. How sweet. He then put some bacon fat on the floor near a boulder. “Come on Hugo” he said on his thick accent. (He certainly hadn’t picked up an Aussie twang in those 50 years). Gradually out popped a Rakali, which is a water mouse. They are more like the size of a large rat with beautiful black and ginger fur with hind webbed feet. Martin shared a bit about his life, sadly we couldn’t quite understand much of what he was saying, but I think we were nodding our heads in the right places. Tim did have a bit of hat envy of his Tricorne!
Lunchtime, we found @GalleonCafé, fabulous. A vibrant place, people chatting, working on their laptops, lovers, friends, associates. The waiter quickly took our order. I had Spanakopita and it was THE best one I have tasted, with a delicious salad. We both had the thickest milkshake ever. The one critique we would give is that the straws are too thin and also plastic. Please – eco-friendly wider straws @GalleonCafe – save our Planet.
Next stop Hampton via a 30 minute bus ride and Tim posted some photos on our #Grownuptravellers Instagram site, his new hobby, and was thrilled when he got a like within seconds of posting a photo of a large bollard with a woollen cosy over it. We found @BrownCowCafe and waited for our next stranger to appear. We were meeting Jennifer Marr, another 3P Australian.
When she arrived, the waitress directed her our way which did amaze her – what great service. She had the most gorgeous blue sparkly top on which matched her wonderful personality. What a great chat, lots of laughter and the time flew by. Our conversation flowed like a bubbling river, effortlessly moving from one subject to another. Obviously our 3P experience popped up! Jennifer used to be in the Army and would love to introduce the Three Principles to the soldiers and veterans. Many suffer unnecessarily from PTSD and it would be wonderful to introduce this understanding into this massive community. Gerald, do you know any influential people in the Australian Army please? Jennifer is going to the UK in August, when we will be having a flying visit back home before heading off to South Africa, so I do hope that we meet up then.
A day of getting to know…a tiny bit of St Kilda, Roan, Martin and Jennifer. And as Julie Andrews sings:
“Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me. Getting to know you, Putting it my way, But nicely, You are precisely My cup of tea”