It’s interesting the people you meet. I went on a sneaky day trip to Perth yesterday as I needed a visa run and it was the cheapest place to go at short notice. So I booked thinking I’d chill at the Cottesloe or Little Creatures and chat to one of my mates that live in Perth. Hilariously they were all out of town, I mean out out. KL, Ireland and the US so it was a shopping day instead. Whilst waiting at the gate I noticed a middle aged man in a white gown with a large wooden crucifix around his neck. I secretly hoped he would be seated near me but didn’t approach him as I couldn’t find the words. (I know me lost for words is a stretch, but it was early in the morning, give me a break). What happened next is what interested me. I waited on the plane for the passengers to be loaded and the lady in 8B sat down and I said, “oh I was hoping you would be the preacher”. To which she replied ” he’s lucky he didn’t sit here I think religion has lot to answer for.” I smiled and let her in. We got chatting and she continued to tell me that she did not like religion as a topic. I just smiled politely and prompted a cunning, oh really what makes you say that? She said it’s a taboo subject and can lead to no good and she nearly almost offends people when it comes up. I continued, how would you offend people? Her somewhat atheist and anti – church perspective came out in a trickle; I continued to smile. On religion everyone has an opinion none right or wrong just their own view, I prompted.
The safety announcement commenced and we went back to our books after an acknowledging smile. After take-off Miss 8B started with the small talk. So what do you do she asked. I’m a religious blogger. She squirmed a little in her seat and I reassured her I had only just started and that it was travel and faith I wrote about and told her the plan for next year. Well, do you know for most of the next 3 hours and 22 minutes Miss 8 B did nothing but chat about perspectives on religion with me. A conversation I thoroughly enjoyed and at no time did she offend me. This conversation on the “taboo” subject which effects so many if not all of the people on earth, made me realise The Unlikely Pilgrim journey had begun.
Back on Aussie soil, I grabbed a taxi and met a new friend. Emira !! What a legend! I jumped in and we set off to Hay street and as we got chatting we shared our stories and hers was a tale of great ups and downs. In her fifties from Bosnia, a new Australian having immigrated in 2001. She escaped the war with her husband and children and went to Turkey, but they longed for a life down under. After a few years they went back to Bosnia and it wasn’t the same she said. I couldn’t raise my children there it was not safe. I excused my ignorance and asked her what the main religion in Bosnia was. Muslim she said and we discussed sooo many things. She was a kindred spirit because as I told her about my quest her eyes welled up and as she discussed her commitment to Allah and The Prophet Mohammed, her love of people and this great nation of ours. I was heart warmed that we had been thrown together.
We both agreed that 30 mins in a car together was just not enough and she came back to take me to Freo and we chatted some more. Insisting to continue our chat she also drove me back to the airport, we had to have a big hug because we knew we would meet again. She gave me her daughters details for when I hit the US (a mommy blogger who would love to host me.) She insisted I add Sarajevo to my list of cities to visit, and I just might. What got me about this woman, is she had seen some horrible things, fled her homeland for her family’s safety, experienced great struggles learning English, trying to educate herself to be a nurse in a new country, desperately trying to fit in to the best of her ability in a place she loves and calls her home. She taught me about the Hatma and suggested documentaries and books I should read to help me learn. She even showed me her Aussie slang dictionary that she has in her car to continue to learn the Aussie way. (with phrases like from asshole to breakfast and shits and giggles with their meanings in it …HILARIOUS!)
Her whole being exuded warmth, kindness and love. A Muslim, who knew? (The media tells me they’re all terrorists aren’t they?) How can anyone judge a woman like Emira purely on her faith and they do every day. I adore her and I think I’ve found a friend for life. I know that she will watch this journey and send me words of encouragement and pray for my safety and success, because that is who she is. She is Emira. The Australian woman originally from Bosnia living in Perth loving Allah every day and is making the world a better place.
Three is the magic number in this tale. As I boarded the plane, weary and slightly tipsy given my love for the moscato at Little Creatures. I was hoping to put my head phones in and dream my way back to Bali. Not a Chance!! I was sandwiched between a lovely lass from WA who was on her way to 3months exploring South East Asia and…… The madness that is, Johnny Carlos aka Monkey Bizzness. This young man sat next to me was not shy and I liked him right away. He sat down and before the cabin crew could say “fasten seatbelts “our new friend was asking if he could ask Sherrie and I three questions on camera and publish in his Vlog. Umm ok! The enthusiasm of this man was infectious, talking about positivity and spreading light and love, sharing smiles by travelling the world donning a monkey suit. Yep a monkey suit! He attends local events to spread cheer, raising awareness for local charities, local issues and local community groups. He’s attended black tie events as the Monkey. He even handed out roses to strangers in a Perth Mall recently. He can talk more than I can and has some great insight in to this world of ours. A Filipino raised in NZ and living in Australia he is quite the ball of energy. His vibe boosted my mood and I couldn’t stop chatting to him let alone sleep. I asked him advice on social media and he freely shared his knowledge, we discussed religion of course and his view is similar to mine in the way that we are all just people. His catch phrase of “Promoting Positivity and Sharing Smiles” should be a mantra we all adopt in life. He’s in Bali visiting friends and said he was travelling light (which means monkey head only ) ha-ha. His attitude to life was one that really can change the world and I encourage you all to check him out on facey or Insta because if nothing else his presence on your feed will give you a smile, maybe at a moment you need one. http://www.facebook.com/mymonkeybizzness
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. It’s easy when the world is filled with characters such as the three I encountered yesterday. What will tomorrow bring I wonder?
The Unlikely Pilgrim
Over n Out.