Into the ‘Top Men Barbers’ we entered, it was hair cut time. His name was Anas and originally from Syria having now resided in Canada for just on four years. One can only imagine how one must feel about another persons home land in turmoil if one has never visited it – same planet, different worlds.
Our conversation became more relaxed and interactive over the brrrrrrr of the shaver, the clip of the scissors and the squirt of the masculine scent signalling the renewed appearance was complete. After Anas discovered we had cycled from Vancouver and continuing onto St Johns, a smile about how biking the five kilometres to work has him exhausted was shared.
Anas mentioned he can do it in fifteen minutes and asked if it was quick. “Of course it is” I replied. I followed it up with, “but what is the rush and you should take a different route each day”. Why? “Because life is at it’s best when you slow down and look up to observe cloud formations passing; or hear birds in song; or see squirrles play; or taste bugs when they inadvertently fly into your mouth”. Anas shared how he spoke to his father about his new wheels (bike) however, the best bike he has ever had was the first one his Dad gave him. He used to ride it everywhere all day long. If you could only see his reflective look in the mirror that I was seeing, his grin was from ear to ear.
Even more so when we discovered how we had both lived in Dubai at the same time. But even more so when we discovered that someone I had worked with during my time in Dubai was from his village in Syria (Ramzi) and that Ramzi was a good friend of his and his brother! Our paradigms had shifted to one of same planet, same world.
Anas worked his magic on Claire’s mop as well which lengthened his smile time. As we went to settle the bill, Anas invited us back to his house for dinner so as to meet his wife and two small children. Unfortunately, we had to decline due to already made plans but became FB friends for a rain check this time. As we shook hands to bid farewell, it was agreed that in most parts it’s not about the destination when one travels but more so about the journey. More so the people you meet and conversations had.
Our bike was also at the doctors getting a check up and service. We had to show calm at letting our rig out of site for a night. It was the same emotion as having your child stayover at a friends for the first time. We were waiting for the call to go pick up and hence our Oakville down town walkabout.
Needing a cuppa, we found this lovely spot called ‘The Crepe Kitchen’ where we met the owners sporting aprons, Ana and Eduardo from Peru. It didn’t matter that we didn’t order anything to eat as our beverages were made and delivered, by then we had sparked up another conversation about their migration to Canada some years back. Of course made easy when they had momentarily stunned looks learning about our journey. I tell ya, it stops people in their tracks.
When Ana had first arrived into Canada, her first job was as a kitchen hand and answering the phone. Speaking limited English with her first boss regularly standing over her when taking a call, she said she spent many a time in the toilet petrified of all incoming calls. It was the one place she was safe from gazing boss eyes! The journey from then to now was certainly a same planet, different world one. Their working as a husband and wife team exuded confidence and belief extending customer satisfaction through the ability to converse with us as customers.
They made fantastic travel agents too wetting our appetites to want to point our noses toward the bottom of the Continent we are on.
Most certainly biking from here to there would have us exposed to the same planet, different world experiences.
Can you imagine the conversations one would collect a long that journey?
When ever you travel from A to B the next time, no matter where on the planet – throw away the map and take it slower. The world is your oyster if you stop to converse with fellow beings. That is where a journey can be at it’s heart beat best.
Cheers Anas, Ana and Eduardo.