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.