I recently received an email reminding me of the 10-year reunion of the Sydney Olympic Games. Wow! How time flies!
Back in the glory days of 2000, I was asked to compete in an ultra marathon but I decided to let someone else take the glory of winning 🙂
Instead, I volunteered as a bus driver. I arrived at my post ready for duty in my new uniform. I didn’t know what to expect and I was transferred to the VIP shuttle bus run picking up guests and taking them to and from the airport with regular runs from the leading hotels to the Olympic Arena and other sporting venues.
After a brief lecture on security, protocol and the maps, I was the man behinds the wheel!
The who’s who of the world were loaded into my bus. Mohammed Ali, Chelsea Clinton, presidents, kings and dictators, just to name a few.
Before long, protocol had disappeared and there was a job to be done. Passenger Count!
I overheard another driver yelling to a group of people – King? King? I’m missing a King! Hey mate, are you a King? The King of Greece raised his hand on my bus and was quickly ferried away.
I kept the Aussie vibe alive with Australian folk songs. Mine was the bus that rocked to Waltzing Matilda and Farewell to Botany Bay.
Sometimes it was quite overwhelming arriving at a site that I’ve never been to before and getting lost with a bus full of people. Thank goodness for the maps!
I have to tell you – my voluntary work back then taught me a good lesson in patience. I spent hours in basements of fancy hotels and outside sporting arenas, waiting in case a call came in. I can assure you – the basement of the Ritz ain’t too Ritzy!
But to be part of history was a wonderful thing.
If our passengers were happy they would give me a hat pin. We put these little tokens in our caps and we would swap them between us.
Us 8 drivers were the most efficient and reliable and economical bus service in Sydney!