Observation portrait

It was just another day at work, and the hotel was quite busy due to a Union conference. I was pushing a trolley past the main entrance like I had done many times before when something caught my eye. Directly in front of me was one of the main faces in Australian politics, stepping through the automatic glass doors. I was in awe considering I had seen this long wrinkly forehead many times on television, and there he was, out of nowhere. I felt belittled when realizing I was directly in his path, and felt like a commoner who bows in a royal’s presence. He made his entrance spearheading his team of advisors, and carried a deadly determination in his step. We exchanged looks for a split of a second, and I kept on walking somewhat awkwardly beside the retinue, still shook by the surprise. My first conclusion was that he isn’t as short as portrayed by the media, and I felt intrigued to get to know the man behind the persona a bit further. I ditched the trolley somewhere and sneaked into the conference room, fueled by curiosity. When I came in, the party leader was welcomed by the crowd, being introduced as ‘The next Prime-minister’. I have never been an avid follower of politics, considering I never believed in the whole circus around the campaigns of false promises. But during the speech that followed, the Opposition Leader stood ten-feet tall and didn’t misspell a single word, nor broke a sweat. The speech was exceptionally well written for this audience, and Bill resisted the urge to look down at his notes. He went on to make very bold statements including the need for an all Australian Head-of-State. The interesting thing to note is how fast I changed my view on the politician, almost charmed by his composure and confidence in every motion. The crowd seemed as hypnotized as me, with a speech that touched all the right notes, like watching a suitor seduce its prey. His energy filled the room. Some political promises were made. Handshakes were given all around, but I can still remember Bill’s calmness dealing with the whole apparatus. This unusual encounter will go down as the first time I really looked up to an Australian politician, in what felt as a breath of fresh air in a sometimes very polluted industry.

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