Backpackers


View from a bus window
View from a bus window

I was surprised to see them at the bus stop. It’s early in the season for backpackers but there they were, a young Japanese couple checking out the bus timetable at the Treasury bus stop in Murray Street.
When the bus arrived they stood aside to allow the other passengers to board before hauling their bulky luggage, two heavy wheeled suitcases and numerous hold-alls and backpacks, aboard. They had trouble making it all fit into the tiny luggage area and received much advice from two older gentlemen passengers about how to do it.
They laughed and talked to each other and consulted a sheet of instructions to see where they were headed. At Kingston two women with children in strollers got onto the already crowded bus and they tried to rearrange their luggage again with more advice from the old timers.
Once everyone was settled in as best they could be we continued and I looked at these young people with their cases marked with “I heart Tokyo” stickers and wondered how fantastic this must seem to them. Was this their first time in Tasmania? How different did it seem from their home and what did they make of this crowded local bus full of teenagers on school holidays and old timers returning from shopping or appointments in Hobart? Did it seem as strange to them as travelling on the Moscow Metro once did to me? The young man caught me staring at him and smiled. I smiled back.
By now the old timers had discovered that the pair was headed for a farm near Huonville for a three month working holiday and that they were staying at a backpacker hostel in the town. I couldn’t see the young woman’s face, she had long hair and was seated facing the front of the bus but as it climbed away from Kingston I could see how the young man was looking around him drinking in the sights. He was alive with interest. The smile was in his eyes as well as on his face.
I was too far away to talk to him. I would like to have heard his thoughts about what he was seeing.
They got off the bus at Huonville and prepared to haul their bags two or three kilometres up the road to the hostel. I hope that their holiday is everything they hoped it would be and I hope I see them again some time so I can ask them.

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. My current housemates are Cindy, my 14-year-old Staffy-Lab X dog and Polly the world's most unsociable cat who is seven.

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