Karina and I went to her…

Karina and I went to her sister Katie's for an awesome meal, of which more anon, but that's not the funny part of this story. Around midnight, Karina and I got on the train back towards the city. She got off at her stop, having given me very careful directions on how to get back to my hotel. That didn't quite work out, but that's also not the funny part, so I'll skip it. Here's the funny part:

As I was leaving the Flinders Street train station, a dark-skinned guy caught my eye. He smiled a bit, I smiled a bit, two strangers at 1 a.m. in Melbourne. He might have been Indian, or Mediterranean, couldn't quite tell. He was definitely tall and quite handsome, maybe 25-30 or so. I figured he was just smiling at another brown person -- several times in my visit, brown people have smiled at me, and I have smiled back. Of course, all of those were female. As we're crossing the street, he says, "Where you coming back from?" I say, "Visiting a friend." And because I am polite, I follow up with, "How about you?" He responds, "Just getting off work." Pause. And then he says, "You wanna get a drink?" And I am so bewildered that I actually laugh out loud and say, "Thanks, that's very sweet, but I think I'm old enough to be your mother." Perhaps not the most tactful response, but when I'm tired, I can be a little blunt. Tall, dark and handsome shrugged and moved away, disappearing into the crowd.

I am not sure what was going on there -- for a minute, I thought he might have been a hooker, looking for a john. Or jane. But probably not. I will tell you that at 1 a.m., I was definitely not looking my best, shlumping back to my hotel in a grey cardigan, jeans, and a cloud of frizzy greying hair. But perhaps he was sincerely interested in a short, roundish (more round after a week of vacation and excellent Aussie food) woman. Dear reader, we will never know. But the interaction kept me amused for the six blocks walk back to my hotel.

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