I arrived to Circular Quay with the Manly Fast Ferries. A beautiful morning ride. The world's best commute. I went to the taxi stand and found a free taxi, sometimes you need to wait for a while, but not today. I opened the door and started talking to the driver.
"Hi, how are you?"
"Good thanks" The driver looked a bit reserved, maybe this is going to be a quiet drive.
"I am going to World Square please."
"Ah ok. A lot of traffic now. The kids are back from holidays and it is a lot of traffic. Slowly getting better now. "
"Good, that sounds good" I said.
"So where are you from?" Anthony asked me, discovering that I am not an Aussie from my accent.
"I am from Sweden. "
"Jag talar svenska " Anthony said.
"So you have been to Sweden? "
"Yes. I was there when I was sailing".
"Wow, so you were sailing! Tell me more about it"
"I was in Uddevalla. I was working on a ship. It was a merchant ship travelling the world. "
"That sounds exciting! What were you doing on the ship? "
"Well, just working you know. All kinds of things. Painting, moving stuff, fixing - just working doing whatever was needed. "
"So how is it working on a ship, is it exciting?"
"You know, it is kind of a sad life. It is only you, the sky and the sea. Nothing else. "
"Oh. But do you not experience marvellous things, fish in the water, something? "
"Not much, it is mostly the same. But in Saudi Arabia there is a lot of fish. A lot of fish. You can put down a rope with nothing on, no bait. And you pull it up and you have like 5 big fish on the rope. Amazing! I used to do soup. Vegetables, onion, fish. And then you boil it a long time until it is creamy. When you eat it, later you fall asleep, ha ha"
"Where are you from? "
"I am from Peru. But I have lived here for 38 years, I am from here now. I have been back to Peru only four times. Four times. It is no good to live there. To dangereous. Last time I was back I was scared. You can loose your money, they will take your car... It is not safe. "
"You like Australia better? "
"Oh yes, this is much better. It is safe here. I can leave my car in one spot for a week, and I come back and it is still there! Australia is a good country. I live a good life here. "
"And you like driving the taxi? "
"Yes, it is a good job. I have been doing it for eight years now. It is free. I start early in the morning at 4 or 5 and finish at 3 pm. It is a good job ."
"Good to hear. You can stop right here please "
"Ok, 11 dollars please"
"There you go."
"Thank you, God bless you"
"God bless you too"