Along Paddington street, Sydney. We’d tucked into a café just a few steps from where I took this picture
Some time ago my phone rang out of the blue with an unknown number. The voice that spoke to me over the phone was male, joking, and a little overly familiar for my liking.
“How are you?” he asked.
“I’m terrific,” I answered the stranger, being friendly and all.
“Are you still at TAXI?” the voice continued, naming a company I’d worked for years and years before.
Frowning, I said, “No. It’s been quite some time since then. And who is this?”
The voice on the other end laughed. “Yes, indeed,” he said. “So did you travel the world with the arts group?”
I scratched my head for a second, thoroughly intrigued at his question. And then I remembered what he was referring to. “No I didn’t,” I said, with a bit of surprise, “and who are you?”
“Oh, that’s a pity, I remember you really wanted to. You were really ‘alternative’, you were going to travel the world with this arts group and do all these wonderful things. What happened?”
Now I was getting annoyed. “Well, the group fell apart, and a good thing too, one guy was an arse.”
“Oh I see,” said the nameless man. “So, where do you work now?”
“Well that depends. Who are you?” I pressed.
And then he told me. It’s been well over six years or so since we’d last met, this man from beyond memory. An old acquaintance long forgotten yet who still remembered a part of me even I’d forgotten.
It’s always funny when someone from your past turns up out of nowhere. Six years hence, his conversation turned up bits and pieces of things that could have been, like stirring up restful sand in shallow water. I did wonder that day – truly, what if?
Six years hence, though, I have had quite a collection of memories. Some good, some bad, but all so endearingly necessary in hindsight. Indeed, what good is some whiskey and twilight and weekends if not for talking shop about stupid things one might have done?
If you’re ever like me, the sort to love to sit, have a cuppa, and lose yourself in thoughts, memories, and people watching, this post is for you. It’s a collection of chairs (and some benches) around the world, always inviting me to come back. In the end I did travel, and I may not have had the experiences I would’ve in the arts group, but I sure did my own kind of travelling. And that’s all that matters.
A row of chairs outside a church in Andalusia
Man on a bench in Andorra, Andalusia
People in a square in Toledo, outside its most famous landmark, the Toledo Cathedral. Yes that lady scared me. I only noticed her looking when I looked through the images.
Corners and alleys in Andalusia
Oita Cafe in Madrid, where the kindly owner, seeing as we were travellers, gave us free desserts with our coffee. Her cafe is absolutely delightful to enjoy coffee and desserts in the popular Hortaleza district
We didn’t get to sit in this armchair in Oita Café, but it sure looks inviting
Eating tapas on bar stools at the famous Boqueria market in Barcelona
Outside a Korean-owned breakfast café in Sydney, where we sat in 12 degree temp sipping coffee
Bangkok, Soi 11. We ate these noodles here
In Istanbul, taking the ferry across the different parts of the sprawling city
Inside the American University of Beirut
A bar in Beirut, where all the chairs had been refurbished from something else entirely, even a moped
Taking a ride in the sky across a gorge in Tasmania
Feasting on seafood by the waters in Hobart, Tasmania
A ferry ride in Hobart, Tasmania to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), with a collection of the bizarre, the macabre, the enigmatic (and one of my favourites)
In Brunswick, Melbourne, a fellow watcher.
In Fiji, a Chinese-owned bakery
Driving between Suva and Nadi in Fiji, we stopped by this small town, which had this one street
Breakfast in Vietnam, serving up delicious eggs on a tin pan
Don’t let these chairs fool you, they’re like hobbits. When you sit down, your knees are in your chest. But it’s comfortable eating, especially when you’re at the lunch lady’s in Vietnam
This remains one of my favourite places in all of Andalucia. Chairs double up as tables in this tiny little café in Seville. (Post to come soon!)