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Picnic time

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There is an old Hungarian saying which goes like this;
"Before you have a chance to look around, the picnic is over."

At my picnic, the food has already been served and consumed. The leftovers, spills, and crumbs cleaned up, and I have settled with my back against an old tree, glass of port in hand, to savour the memory of roads travelled, and to simply enjoy "being" in the space that surrounds me.

As I look around my world I find constant reminders that, when it comes to happiness, it is certainly a matter of "different strokes for different folks."

I have previously provided a glowing report of my favourite traditional old-fashioned Aussie breakfast joint in Cairns. 
A place where, once a week, Mrs GOF and I pause in our work travels at 5 am to enjoy food and conviviality.

Each time we visit, there is the same group of taxi drivers also refuelling after their night shift.  Among them, one looks like Clive James. Another Keith Richards. And then there's Steve Martin. They are all somewhere around my age, and, to phrase it politely, all very large gentlemen.  They chain smoke while enjoying large helpings of greasy bacon and eggs washed down with bottomless cups of coffee.  I presume they are in attendance most days of the week.
Some of their conversation involves sharing graphic updates of their current health problems, ailments, and treatments.

I choose to write about them because this group of men, regardless of the topic of conversation, exude happiness in bucketloads.  Their laughter and good humour infects all patrons within earshot.  They are content in their own skins, and find comfort, companionship and cameraderie with their contemporaries by sharing a common gender and occupation.

Perhaps in a way I envy them, yet I know their lifestyle is not for me.  I derive equal happiness and contentment from "aloneness" and my own company and solitary occupation.

So…..long live my taxi driver "friends".
You have each, unknowingly, contributed in a small way to my wonderful picnic.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

11 responses »

  1. Kind of like how I feel about my blogger friends, GOF. To each his own.

  2. Sitting in a coffee shop or cafe, one can learn the most interesting things by just sitting and listening.

  3. Fantastic. I have a similar breakfast joint round the corner from where I work, it's nice when I do silly shifts as I get to visit there and catch up with the two ladies behind the counter, who while maybe old enough to be my mother and auntie, laugh and joke with me as if they'd known me all their lives. They treat the other patrons the same way. If you work somewhere that you enjoy the company of the others and the job itself, the laughter spreads. I, however, work somewhere that usually involves me asking Mrs PeteGraham to remove the gathering of serrated edged weaponry from my back after a day shift; but a night shift that leaves me feeling chilled. It's just me, the air con and about 1000 servers.
    A thought provoking blog, GOF, if I may be so bold.

  4. I felt as though I was right there with you and your "friends". Great story.

  5. I know exactly what you mean. Thanks Snowy.

  6. Absolutely agree GOM. These guys are an absolute University of Life with anecdotes of the strange situations they confront in the middle of the night.

  7. Thank you PeteGraham. The table next to the taxi drivers is often occupied by young nightclubbers wearing fair to medium hangovers…..they arrive in a somewhat worn out condition, but after an hour in this place they leave with new energy and smiles on their faces.Have sent a bullet proof vest by surface mail for you to wear during your day shift.

  8. I like to imagine it is better for pollies to use a cab as opposed to commonwealth cars.Cabbies can be a good source of public feedback as long as the pollies engage them in conversation.

  9. I seem to recall a couple of episodes of "Yes Minister" where the Minister's personal driver knew more of what was going on than the Minister himself.Probably true in real life.

  10. I was thinking of that when I wrote the comment. Comm drivers for internal and taxis for the public.Brilliant series Yes Minister. I even have a legit copy of the every series.


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