Tobias and the Tigers

This morning I took a shuttle into Cairns (pronounced ‘cans’) to seek out fishing guides. Found some but not what I was looking for.

So that part of my short trip into the city was unsuccessful. But, yet again, I met some interesting people, I’d like to tell you about them.

Douglas (don’t shorten it to Doug, he prefers his whole name) had been driving the shuttle for 7 years. He’s got a serious, severe face but broke out in a toothy smile when we got chatting.

The best part of his day? “Going home! No, really, I get to meet some nice people.”

“Like movie stars and whatnot?”

“If I drove a movie star, I didn’t know it. No, just people like yourself who say hello.”

Douglas works part time, about 20 hours per week. “I oversaw a workforce of 170 with 90 coaches in Melbourne as manager in a holiday coach hire company. Now I’m semi retired and don’t have all those hassles.”

Also, I met a family holidaying from Denmark. They were on the same reef excursion as me yesterday but I didn’t recognize them.

Danish couple John and Karina have both their boys with them, Matthew (13) and Tobias (18). I liked them immediately.

And Tobias has the coolest job.

“I’m a gamekeeper in a zoo. I care for our 3 Bengal tigers, 20 lemurs, 9 dwarf deer and some other things.”

He had his tablet with him and showed me pictures of the tigers.

Those tigers show off some impressive incisors. Tobias is is one brave kid.

“No, it’s not bravery. You just have to be attentive to the tigers and the situation.”

Stay attentive. I like that. Wise words from a pretty cool kid.


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