We shared a lunchtime table with 3 residents of Nimbin today.
The first was an older woman, lean, brown, with long grey blonde hair and dark bright eyes. On each of her wrinkled cheeks was a fading tattoo of a crescent moon and star. She was dressed in the uniform of a hippie from the 60s, flowing robes, beads and bracelets on each wrist. Incongruously, she was nursing an iced coffee with a blob of ice cream floating in it. She'd lived in Nimbin for more than 20 years.
The second was a younger dark haired woman, just as brown, just as wiry, a little less hippie, a little more perky. She didn't say how long she'd lived in the area but I'd guess not as long as the other 2.
The third was an older man with pale blue eyes and a bushy reddish blonde beard streaked with bright orange. On his head was a green fedora with a chunky silver flower brooch pinned on it. His face was pale, with patches of rosacea and flaky skin. He'd lived in Nimbin for over 40 years.
We talked about change, benevolent dictators, the benefits of hemp, the importance of food to the Chinese, the awful disparity between poor and rich, the pros and cons of having tourists in the area, young ladies in bikinis sitting on bombs, feisty South Korean parliamentary sessions, the problem with religion, the age of mankind, and where to get baby socks for Georgia's sore feet. We talked like there was no tomorrow, not stopping long enough for uncomfortable silences to appear.
After lunch we said, "Goodbye."
"Thank you for sharing your table."
"Thank you for the conversation."
We never introduced ourselves and didn't take a picture.
The world is full of friends we haven't yet met, and likely never will again.