Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Believe It Or Not.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a hospital emergency ward with Iven and a boy (young man, really) was put into the bed next to us. He'd been getting stuff out of his garage for a garage sale and had stood on some glass. Ouch! We heard the doctor tell him how he would be treated but all he cared about was that he'd be able to run the half marathon that he'd entered five weeks away.

When the doctor left I popped my head around the corner, blatantly told him that I'd been eavesdropping and asked if it was the Sydney Morning Herald half marathon. Yes, he was doing his first one down in Sydney with his Mum and had run 15k just that morning in preparation.

The doctors stitched him up and sent him on his way with a promise that he would be fine by race day.

Last Sunday morning while we were walking to the race start we got stopped at a set of lights with some other runners. Sam commented that it looked like a mum with her two sons. That reminded me about my hospital buddy and when I looked over one of the boys seemed a little familiar. He looked at me too but I didn't see any recognition in his eyes and I really wasn't too sure.

I made my way to the never-ending portaloo queues and who happens to stand beside me in the next queue but the same boy. Of course I couldn't help but satisfy my curiosity. (There's nothing weird about talking to strange young men in toilet queues). And of course, in the tens of thousands of people there that morning I happened to find the boy from the hospital.


A few of you who have commented have expressed a desire to one day visit Sydney. I can heartily recommend it but I would like to add a proviso that will make your trip more pleasant. 

Make sure you be wary of beggars and thieves.

This little fellow looked like he was from a nice home but he obviously didn't get fed enough. Those sad brown eyes watched every mouthful of my post-run breakfast enter my mouth and he even had the gall to tap me on the leg when my plate was getting close to empty. 

No, I didn't share. I am a heartless human being.

And this sneaky individual is one of a team of thieves that operate around Circular Quay and other touristy locations in the harbour city. He skulked around our table while we ate lunch, waiting for his moment to swoop in and seize whatever he could make off with. 

Earlier that day we'd seen the gang in operation down at Darling Harbour and they scored big-time! An untouched rasher of bacon. Dividing up the spoils was an ugly affair and I'm pretty sure that the ring-leader diddled his gang out of their share. 

And then there's the red-crested spoon bill, who's adapted to her preferred diet and habitat by always having a tasting spoon on hand. She swoops in on the unwary ice cream eater and before you know it, a spoonful of that delicious creamy treat has disappeared. This bird is not at all aggressive though and can be tamed to make a lovely pet. (Love you Hannah!)

Avoid any of these and you'll have a great trip ... unless you find a red back spider on your toilet seat.


  1. What a coincidence. And I still want to go to Sydney despite your warning :)

  2. That is something that you ran into that kid - twice! Hope he had a good half.

  3. How cool you ran into him again! Runners make so many great connections in potty lines.
    I thought you were going to say you brought that 'thief' home for Toby.

  4. crazy you ran into that boy! its funny, I get that all the time...I see people and think, do I know them? but i'm always too much of a chicken and too shy to say anything!

  5. Oh my god... it's karma or fate or something that you ran into that boy. Whatever... it was meant to be!

  6. LOL - too funny! It really is a small world...

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  8. There you go mentioning creepy spiders again and I have just postponed my Aus trip by another 10 years ... my friends thank you ;-)

  9. Aw spiders aren't that bad lol

  10. I hope to visit your side of the world one day and of course all the major cities. I think some things are very similar to what we have here. Johannesburg is known for crime but still a nice place to visit. The guys form The Track Outback Race keep inviting me so I better attend one day.

  11. LOL at the beggers and thieves.

    What a coincidence you saw that boy again with all these people. Sometimes it's a really small world, isn't it?

  12. I'm happy for that boy he got to run the marathon! What a beautiful encounter to have!

  13. So cool that 1. he was able to still run and 2. you actually saw him at the race!!!
    Thanks for the warning about beggars & thieves - good to know!!

  14. That is crazy and great that you bumped into the boy from the hospital. While I'd love to visit Australia one day, the spider stories really do put me off (well, those and the cost of flights).

  15. Wow! Small world!

  16. So happy to hear about the boy.
    I have never thought of beggars and thieves in Sidney! Thanks for the useful warning: I hope I can visit your country, Char ... and run a race there :)

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