Every morning on my hurried walk from the station to work, I pass a construction site halfway up the hill. Tiny men wearing hard-hats and immaculate, blue costumes - complete with reflective gear crossing their chests and circling their waists - work the site. It is like passing a Legoland display as miniature trucks and earth-movers fit into a minuscule area. Depending on what stage they're at, sometimes it's not possible to walk on the footpath. Ever helpful, orange witch hats mark the alternate route, and green rubber mats with arrows point the hapless and confused pedestrian in the right direction. In addition to the very obvious markers, a man is employed to stand and wave an orange wand to help you navigate your way through the orange witch hats and green rubber mats with arrows. Just in case you missed the blatantly obvious.
For the last four months, the same man has been waving his orange wand at me. Initially, I gave him a shy smile as I crashed through the detour. I then moved onto the GG version of the walking bow (read incline of the head as I crash past), and then our relationship progressed as I began to say g’day to him. I had obviously overstepped some boundaries and I noted the panic in his eyes, and the palpable stench of fear emanating from his pores. Ah, I don’t mean to scare the locals, it just happens.
The wand-waving man and I no longer have a good, Aussie g’day-‘owthafukareyamate-type relationship. As with many things