Chatting with a Stranger

Overflow Cafe | Lounge

In a laidback city of art and quiet, there is no lack of interesting cafés to discover. As I turned at the corner of Newcastle Street towards Lake Street, huge canvasses splashed with buoyant hues leaned outside of Overflow Café’s red brick walls. Allured by the unconventional display, I stepped in and ordered a cool glass of caramel milkshake along with a slice of tiramisu at the counter. The café-turned-art-gallery displayed impressive works that matched its modern yet warm interiors – on the walls, by the door, and even on table tops. It was difficult to decide where to sit and get a perfect view of the best piece as they were everywhere. I took a few photos and alas, chose to sit around the center of the café.

While waiting for the sweet desserts, I plugged my ears, browsed through my phone and began watching The Lego Story to complete an inspired lounging afternoon. After Ole names the company LEGO around five minutes later, I heard a voice as if addressed to me. I removed my earphones, turned around and met a stranger. I stopped the unfinished video one third through and shifted my attention to the artist who asked me not to post his works online – he didn’t wish for his works to be recreated in Bali, and uncredited – to which I agreed. Before I knew it, he was sitting on my table and we were talking about random stories and ideas over my buttery tiramisu.

He’s a 55-year-old American who married a lovely Japanese wife. Who has been living in Perth for five years now. Who has an iPhone but thinks it has too much bugs for its price. Who doesn’t understand what’s going on in Kim Jong Un’s mind. Who is fonder of timid Asian kids than liberated Caucasian ones. Who retired from corporate and earned enough to live as an artist today. And who wishes to move to the Philippines and paint away. My introverted self, who doesn’t even talk to acquaintances, chatted the afternoon away with a stranger in a random café. A stranger who helped me realize that anyone may follow his/her heart in due time, choose the world as a place to call home, and decide not to finish a slice of cake if it’s too buttery for your taste.

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