He politely asked if he could take a seat. I welcomed him with a smile, hoping a conversation might give me a needed break from my thoughts. That’s when he shared his story with heavy eyes.
We was about to miss the due date for his thesis. Offered a scholarship, this was his chance to get out of Nepal and have a better life — and he had blown the opportunity.
I told him that he isn’t alone. I explained that living in Australia, which seems like paradise, doesn’t mean having a problem-free life. People still struggle. I‘ve certainly made mistakes. I don’t even know if I have a job to go back to — I’m lost too. I’m sure my expression was proof I meant every word. We shared the following moment in silence, staring straight ahead as if the solutions to our problems lay somewhere off in the distance.
There was more to our conversation, but what stood out was his final question: “What’s the ocean like?” Since Nepal is an inland country, he had never been to a beach or coast line. Hearing this hit the hardest.
He then quickly left as security approached. I didn’t get this name, but I remember his face. I hope he found another opportunity. I think of him every time I’m by the ocean — as well as of how lucky I am.