Sydney in summer is in bloom and it can never keep itself down. Christmas lights abound, sun going down at 8pm, the roads are filled with tourists and irate Sydney-siders trying to plough their way through a thousand people! Coldplay is in town for two days and the buzz is palpable. When its this buzzing, how could it not make sense to turn up at Circular Quay, where for once there would not be a million people, grab an ice cream and settle at my favourite place in Sydney, the benches, and just watch the sun go down.

But I am going home today.

Packing is not stressful for me. When you have been doing it since you turned 18, honestly it can and should be a walk in the park. I am known to have everything strewn all over the room, or 2 or 3, but come crunch time, it will be all packed neatly… well not neatly, but close enough and ready to go.

This time, however, I was all over the place. Five hours before the flight from Sydney, I was still packing, still contemplating, so grossly overweight that it belied any understanding, any perception, any logic. But I was still smiling, still amused.

Why, one might ask? Why would anyone about to be slapped with half their incomes worth of excess baggage fees be this calm? Why indeed? Because less than 7 hours ago I was treated to what had to have been the most honest, priceless, real conversations I had had since coming to Sydney.

It was the sort of conversation, which begins over waiting outside office steps to a “Are you hungry?” to a simultaneous reply “I’m always hungry!”

Standing outside Gumez and Guzman, unable to order because my procrastination is renowned on food, till finally the person I was with decided to order for both. Sitting, eyeing that enormous burrito in front of me, I polished off the Mexican treat, much to the amused eyes glancing at me. In my defence, I am always hungry.

Balancing Gelato Messina and bags in hands, we settled on a bench where silence was punctuated with some epic conversations on life, failures, success, emotional stability and what it means to survive in places far removed from what we once knew our lives to be… what could be, what will probably be.

The traveller in me revels in these conversations. The mad laughter, the gesticulations, those hand gestures, the depth that is so lacking in so many interactions. The spark, the laughter, those moments which if you don’t capture and build on, disappear. Conversations laced with amusement.

I even got to see my first ship dock on the side of Circular Quay I had never seen before. “Look, its a blue ship!!!” I shouted in excitement. Clearly, the amusement was not shared and I was looked upon by a mixture of amusement and a “Seriously?”

A conversation that loops while waiting for two separate trains, a chance decision when taking the same train makes more sense, because why not indeed? Crammed in with a couple of hundred Coldplay fans on a December night which like all end of year days hold a promise of things we refuse to contemplate throughout the year.

As the evening when on we were sharing the a three seater with an individual who seemed intent on enriching the train with their KFC zinger meal. A few stops down, people disembarked, the double seater opened up. “ Hurry up!” I hissed while we grabbed bags, only to be beaten by two women, who slid in with sheepish grins. Sliding back, we counted our blessings. At least the KFC guy was no where to be seen, or smelt. Crammed yet again, the monologue continued, the KFC replaced by a German shouting into her phone. The electricity throughout the train, the sort you can touch, feel, and live through every moment. People talking, a complete fray.

As I saw my friend leave, knowing that it was my last day here, I still had a loopy grin, because the promise of December. A grin, while the train doors shut, a door separating a conversation that spanned the whole evening.

Headphone looped in, I sat in an empty train, listening to Patari, because you can take the desi out of the desi setting, but you can’t take our music away. Ever.

Emerging at Central station, the Coldplay fray seemed to be an influx that was coming in waves. I walked in what was a perfect summer night, cool, crisp, people laughing, running for buses. Buzzing, alive, laughing, talking. Smiling.

A perfect ending to the promise Sydney had, and has, and maybe will have again. A connection, a moment, a conversation, laughter.

Six hours later, at 5.30 am, watching my luggage implode all over the place again, amused and exasperated, I glanced at my buzzing phone. The goodbye was not yet over.

“I’m at Redfern. Central is another 5 minutes away. I figured you might need help with your luggage. How do I get to your place?”

I laughed. The moment continued.