Pleasantries are passed. Your co-passenger is very well spoken, and you wonder, what occupation might this person might be engaged in.
Might he be a physician? His hands are well manicured and smooth? Might he be a magistrate? He proves to have broad knowledge of social mores. Perhaps he is an engineer, who has moved up to a management position in a large company, as many engineers do.
A conversation strikes up. This gentleman is travelling to the same city as you for four days to do a 'job' and then returning home.
He is clearly well versed on transportation as you mention a recent interstate trip where you witnessed first hand a road train; the gentleman matches your story and proceeds to inform you of an experience several years ago, when he was driving from Alice Springs to Darwin and saw road trains which had up to four trailers. He continues, giving a detailed account of the advantages of rail over road.
The conversation takes a different route. The subject of our military being engaged in Afghanistan comes up; and then comments on the news item that six Australian mine executives had died in the Congo on a routine flight. Loss of life and the means whereby it is delivered to you becomes the centre of the conversation.
This is a man with a good philosophical grasp of life and death; he understands that death can meet any one of us at any time and in many cases unexpectedly. He speaks with a sense of authority and his listeners are engaged.
Then the conversation is somehow directed to suicide bombers and the almost impossible means available to both prevent the execution of the device and the terrifying prospect of ascertaining such a person and trying to convince him or her to move away from this path of destruction.
Another twist in this enthralling chat, is a discussion about standing at Point Danger on the Queensland-New South Wales border with one foot in each State, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and wondering how the border was decided upon and how far into the ocean does the actual border extend to.
Clearly this is not your normal air flight conversation. This gentleman is well versed in a wide range of topics of interest, the sciences, mathematics and history.
"Ah ha," discovers Well-Being Chairman, Mark Tronson, at the end of the flight "Like myself, he is a Minister of Religion …...."