"I love people, everyone has stories. I spend most of my time talking to randoms. You have no idea how much time the street steals from me."
"What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt from a street conversation?"
"I never finished high school so Sydney streets became my education. I’ve learnt so much about life from watching dry paint. Everything I am is a combination of them experiences. I think that everyone is fragile and the most violent and self destructive ones are the ones in adult bodies, facing adult consequences but in their hearts they are just kids. It seems so wrong to punish kids for making mistakes."
With tears in her eyes and her hands up in prayer, she told me:
"We came here in 1970, my husband and five children. I have one daughter and four sons. My eldest son Wurad, passed away in South Africa by cancer when he was 42. He married a South African woman, but no babies. He was a loving man, very beautiful. Please pray for him and for my family."
"I’ve been here 8 years but I’m from South Africa."
"What was life like under apartheid?"
"I was young so all I remember is curfews. School was important to my parents. I was lucky because of my dad’s job; I was able to go to a good school."
“In Bangladesh, I used to work at the World Health Organisation but there’s no system here to get me a job like that so here I am.
I live here with my wife and kids but this isn’t just for them, I have to work to support those back home too. I’ve come here and there’s no turning back.
This in itself is a kind of war. I’ve come and I’m working but back home, I wouldn’t have even thought of this kind of work. But I’m doing it and it’s getting me by.”
"My kindness tends to get mistaken for weakness, but that’s why you should never judge people based on only what you see or hear."
"The term friend has the connotation that there is a significant connection between people that maintains a kind of relationship. In order to maintain this friendship, people have to care about each other and to be aware of what is going on in each other’s lives through direct conversation.
Altering the meaningful definition of friendship, makes it extremely superficial with an underlying creepiness and insincerity. However society has now redefined the concept friendship, whereby being “friends” with someone just means that there is a consensual connection between two people. The connection does not need to be meaningful; it could even just be that both users are aware of each other’s basic existence. There is no sense of meaningful bond between people.
The term “Friend” has completely been bastardised, and has become a primary concern for how people share their personal information with others. Perhaps saying that you are friends with others is more of an excuse to use that friendship for an advantage down the road. There is no shame in being an acquaintance. I think society has made the word derogatory and that is why it seems offensive. It’s just about being honest about where you stand with someone else.”
"I love Australia but Kenya is home. I’ll always feel like a stranger here but back home I have all my family."
"I left Bangladesh 4 years ago after watching government supporters beating opposition supporters to death on national TV, then cheering on the streets. I realised these people had zero percent humanity so I decided to migrate to a better future. I’m no fan of liberal capitalism but this land has given me a fair go."
"I want to be a recognised engineer but it’ll be hard because I don’t have a white name. My friend and I applied for the same job. He had a white name but I had the better credentials. He got the job."
"Marriage isn’t what you expect it to be. It’s hard getting used to having someone there all the time, waking up next to someone. We once had a fight because I didn’t cut some watermelon for him."