Thursday, 31 July 2014

Out in the rain, out on the tracks

Sorry about my absence. Funny how the days sneak up and bleed into the nights and suddenly lots of them have slipped by.

Metro Trains have changed the time table. I haven't quite worked out what it all means, but their great smart phone app, called "Notify" lets me know each morning when my train is due to run.  For example, the 7:20am now departs at 7:18 because of the changed timetable. Great service. Unfortunately, there's been a few occasions where the next communication is to advise that the train has been delayed. Ironically, it's later than it would have been if the timetable hadn't changed. 

Still on the subject of public transport, Melbournians lose their usually excellent capacity to play well with others when it involves rain, peak hour and public transport. As I watched the sky turn from a sunny blue to a terrifying black, I made my plans to exit the building. I finished a phone call from a friend and was just about to take his advice and leave (the temperature had dropped to about 8 degrees with wind and rain thrown in for extra excitement) when my boss stopped me to check in on a few things. By the time I left, it was even colder and much wetter. Huddling at the tram stop, with only a tiny foldable umbrella - rendered impotent by the wind - I found a new definition of misery. This new definition was replaced a moment later as I huddled, damply, on the tram. I tried to wrangle my umbrella so I didn't wet anyone anymore than they already were. Meanwhile, I felt a wet patch growing on my back. The woman behind me was pressing her soaking, dripping umbrella into my back. We adjusted. The tram stopped a the next stop. No one alighted. A few determined people squeezed into non-existent space, pleading for us to move in. We were so squashed that the only way I could create more space was to inhale, so I did. 

The next ordeal was negotiating the stupidly skinny tram platform that was packed with too many people, plus their backpacks in the rain with umbrellas and rain hoods making it impossible to see each other. We stood on our refuge, wedged between the tram line and two lanes of traffic. Opposite, a man squatted down with his camera and leaped to action when we started to cross.

My outfit served me well today, drawing comments from many quarters: 

"That's a very eclectic outfit". I chose to respond with "thank you".

"Your dress is hitched up at the back, let me does it work?" I explained the complex rigging involved and thanked her for being concerned.  She revealed her plan to protect my modesty.

"What a fantastic outfit!" was the best comment of the day, as I interacted with people who are more from "my" world.

Hail, rain and wind are on the cards for tomorrow. I must prepare for the travel odyssey ahead. I shall think of it as character building.

We certainly saw Lorraine today:

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