As I was surfing today another bloke paddled out and we got chatting.
He was an ‘old bloke’ too and happy to share waves and generally enjoy the beauty of the morning. We spent about an hour in the water at the same time and found out quite a bit about each other in between waves. I was enjoying the conversation and the engagement.
He told me he lived just behind the dune and asked if I wanted to come back and see some images of the beach at its best. His mate is a photographer and snaps some great pics around the Coffs area. Do you know what my first response was?
Well actually it was ‘Yeah – I’d love to’…
But… it was followed by a series of questions.
– Why would he invite me back to his place when he hardly knows me – in fact he’s only just met me?
– Is he getting a commission from the photographer?
– Is he gay and hitting on me?
Pretty tragic hey?…
It was a good bloke doing a decent thing and being second guessed by another bloke who has been conditioned to think the worst of people – that he might not just be offering coffee and the shared joy of seeing some great pics – but he might have an ulterior motive.
It really pisses me off that we have got to this as a society where ‘goodness’ is second guessed and acts of kindness are treated with skepticism.
Whatever happened to the kind of world where people could just make friends, invite them home and enjoy the moment?
We are a sad suspicious bunch now aren’t we?
For the record, I went, we had a tea (still a fussy bugger when it comes to coffee) and he showed me some magic images of his backyard, as well as giving me some great tips for where to go while we are in the area.
Thanks Mark – you have inspired me to live differently in my own backyard.
And if you’re interested you can see the images here
i’m wondering if the way one engages with the world about them has more to do with the skepticism that you describe – i’ve found some of the most skeptical people in the world – when it comes to second guessing motives – are “ministers”. Maybe it’s because we have spent so much time trying to manipulate (not meant as gross as it sounds) others ourselves????
It is sad that we tend to second guess a persons motives, unfortunately I think life experiences make us that way. I try very hard to go with my first instinct, but due to history am not a very trusting person. So you have me really thinking now Andrew that I need to make an effort. Just think what a wonderful experience that you would have missed out on. So glad you took the “chance”.
I checked out the pics. They’re brilliant.
Good thoughts from you, too, mate.
I followed the link and another link and arrived at a blog site where they promoted a photography display which coincided with the Jesus Pro Am in Coffs Harbour.
In relation to the post, after great discussions with strangers, I often ask them back for coffee or lunch/dinner to get some weird looks in return. They may be a local hairdresser, shop assistant, neighbour, or just some random person on the street. Suspicion is the norm.
Funny you should bring this up, and you keep using the word “Bloke.”
My town, Cheyenne, Wyoming, US, puts on “Cheyenne Frontier Days,” billed as the “World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo” every year, and it lasts 10 days. Our town of 50,000 is overrun with thousands of tourists from around the world. (It drives the locals crazy.)
The first Saturday morning of Frontier Days, I was out for a run in my neighborhood minding my own business. A guy and his son on bicycles stopped me and asked for directions to the golf course. He had an Australian accent. We had a great visit there on the street for 5-10 minutes. His family was on ‘holiday’ in the US for 6 weeks and they were in Cheyenne for the rodeo. I told him how much I loved Oz, and that I was following this Hamo guy’s blog. In our conversation I called myself a “bloke” and he thought it was pretty funny, because he had never heard a Yank use that word.
We said goodbye and when I got home I told my wife, and she said we should invite them over for supper. So I drove down to the golf course and taped a note on the guy’s bike with my phone number.
I figured he would never call and take me up on it mainly because his wife would freak out. Well, he called and they came over with their 2 kids. We connected immediately, and they stayed until 11:00 pm talking and laughing with us. We got together 4 more times that week and have become great friends. They are from Bathurst, NSW, and we’ve stayed in touch and plan to visit them someday.
They are typical Aussies in that they have no church background whatsoever. We had some good conversations about spiritual things. They said they consider themselves ‘spiritual’ but don’t consider themselves ‘religious.’ We told them we don’t consider ourselves religious either.
I told him I couldn’t believe he called that first day because I figured his wife would say, “Over my dead body are we going over to some strangers’ house in a foreign country.”
You know what he said to me that convinced him to accept my invitation to come to our home?
Because I used the word “bloke” in my conversation with him.
interesting post here
sad indictment on how ‘civilised’ we’ve become 🙁
hey Billy – sounds like you’re a good bloke!
I love your story Billy