Have you ever been in a situation where you have a lot of experience but now have to learn again – become a student/beginner or sometimes feel like a child again?
Well, if anyone asks me this question, I would say ‘yes‘ millions of times.
Since my family migrated to Australia, I have had to learn all most everything again. I guess this is a normal ‘trial’ for new migrants in any country?
Many of my friends are struggling to overcome this ‘difficulty‘ because they often cannot accept that they have to start again. I am the opposite, I really enjoy having this feeling – the feeling of becoming a child again.
The idea of being a beginner makes me feel fresh and young in some situations but I also feel curious and nervous.
The below story is one of the funny stories since I have been in Australia.
‘An elegant lady on the train‘
When we first arrived in Australia, after around 2 months was the first time I caught the train by myself.
Firstly, I need to talk about my sense of direction. It is the topic of many jokes in my family. My son and my husband often tease me about how I got lost in a one-road town or in shopping centres etc.
One Monday morning, I had to go to Southbank TAFE to ask for some information about the diploma course and after that, I planned to go and have lunch with my friend.
I was so excited about the idea of going on my own without any help from my husband or my son. Although my son was only 10 years old at that time, his sense of direction was already much better mine.
Before my journey started, I had checked the train timetable very carefully to ensure that I wouldn’t miss the next train from Roma Street station to South Brisbane station.
I don’t think dressing up beautifully is my innate talent but I always believe the way I dress is one of the ways that I show my respect to others and myself. So, my belief was really showing up that day.
I wore a floral midi dress featuring an A-line silhouette, gentle pleats from the waist. Then, put on a fancy jersey trench coat, and completed the look with a pair of knee-length boots and a pearl necklace. As you might imagine, I looked like I was going to a fancy party. I think I looked very elegant that day.
I had a successful trip to Roma station.
I used to be a very busy person when I was in Vietnam. The main reason was I had to manage two fashion shops in two cities and a small international tourism company.
As a small business owner ( or an entrepreneur in other words), I hardly had any holiday or full weekend with my family, My brain was always ‘on the go‘. This was one of the reasons why I decided to close the businesses in Vietnam before we migrated to Australia.
But once again, I wished I could have been a busy person like everybody else on the station that day. People seemed so busy in the station because they all were in a hurry. Anyway, to fit in I also ran quickly to the next platform even though I still had at least 15 minutes to get on the next train.
I had to say I have been very good at pretending since I was a kid as having a darker skin colour than other kids in the village. It would be a topic that people talked about and made bad comments on my future. So, to avoid those conversations I pretended I did not hear them.
As the train arrived at the station, I saw a station guard layout a ramp to cover the gap between the station and the train, I thought it was very strange – last time I did not see the guard do that. Then, people were standing and waiting on two sides. “It is very strange,” I thought. However, I was too shy to look around so I kept my head toward the train and I thought “I just want to get on the train”.
After the ram was laid out, I stepped forward but I was stopped by the guard. The polite man said “please wait a minute” and he pointed his hand behind me.
Well, if you are experienced, you might know what was going on here. I turned my head toward his hand, and there were 5 people waiting behind me – all in wheelchairs. “Oh…. How ashamed of myself I am,” I thought.
I remembered that I had seen a lot of scenes like this in Korean movies but this was the first time I had felt the shyness. My face was blushed and also I dressed so nicely. Many people were looking at me when I was waiting at the station and now at that moment…
Luckily, I wore my sunglasses that day so at least it covered my face a little bit. I ran as quickly as possible to another carriage so I could be away from all the eyes that were looking at me.
There you go, it was a simple lesson I learned that day. Now, I know that when the ramp is laid out then probably somebody needs assistance,.. it is not put there for me 😅.
If you are about to have your first trip on the train and see the ramp is laid then probably you might want to ‘look around and check’. Then, you won’t make the same mistake that I did that day.
I still grin when I think of my mistake that day!