The Post-Dinner Journey Home (Or  ‘How I Found Myself Waiting For a Bus In North Melbourne at 11:30pm on a Tuesday!’)

Tonight I had dinner with a girlfriend of mine in the city post-gym (yes, I’m already noticing that I’m using ‘post-‘ too much, but I can’t control myself).

It was one of those dinners that had always been talked about (“So, next week, lets catch up for dinner!”)… But inevitably doesn’t happen for a multitude of reasons – too busy, too sick, too tired, too broke, other commitments etc. there’s always an excuse. But unlike some people, I also acknolwedge that these things happen (read: life!) and we’re not capable of doing absolutely everything we’d like to, because, well, we don’t have 35hrs in the day. 

So after weeks and weeks and weeks of postponing our dinner date, we finally locked it in. A chance to finally sit down and have a real catch up and actually have some real conversation for a change, something that I have particularly been craving. 

And it was so much more than I thought it would be. We ended up talking about blogging – the ins and outs of it, like a very generalised ‘how-to’ and I ended up inspiring a fellow creative person to start writing a blog – and if she’s reading this, I hope she knows how much I’m looking forward to reading her future content, just as I’m very nervous about having her read my content, which was something that we spoke about also. 

However, this interaction made me realise something: just how foreign it felt to have somebody that you know, express their interest and excitement in reading something that I’ve written, let alone inspire them to do the same. But further to that, I realised how foreign it felt just to have somebody you know support you in doing something that is quite personal and creates so much vulnerability. 

It was support and encouragement that I’ve not had for quite some time. Support and encouragement that I’ve only ever gotten from one other person, and unfortunately not the person I was in a relationship with. I’m not saying that I’m a needy person, or that I need somebody to constantly blow smoke up my arse and tell me how ‘amazing’ I am. Instead it’s more about getting acknowledgement and recognition for something that is quite personal, and an aspect of me that not everybody knows exists. Usually when I tell somebody about my blog, they’re quite surprised because I rarely mention it; I don’t shout it from the rooftops. Then when they read some of my content, there’s more surprise – generally because it’s so unexpected and yet completely complements my personality. So it’s always nice when somebody genuinely shows an interest / support / encouragement in something that I’m doing. You know, like being an actual human. 

So after much conversation and excitement and food, it was getting late and we said our goodbyes and I began my journey home. Usually a late night in the city would make me choose the convenience of getting a taxi home, but in comparing the cost to the convenience, I opted for public transport. 

Riding the escalator to the train station I merely glimpsed at the board and saw one of my train lines and 2min on the board. Did I actually read the board properly? No.  So there’s me, full from dinner and running through the station like a crazy person, trying to get down the escalator to the platform without falling over and breaking my neck, I arrive on Platform 3 only to discover the train arriving, isn’t actually the train I thought I would be catching. My next immediate assumption is that perhaps the board said to catch this train, and then change at a further station. 

I jumped on the train and took a seat, trying not to be too distracted by the woman staring at me whilst she was on the phone, and jumped off at the station you generally change trains on and I look at the boards there. My next train: 26mins. 

😳😩😫😖😤☹️😠😡🤔🤔🤔

I open my phone and work out when the next bus home is insted. So I start walking. Walking around the back streets of North Melbourne late at night is certainly a new experience for me, but not one I’m in any hurry to repeat. 

I walk and I walk, and eventually come across the bus stop. The eerie thing is that there’s nobody around. No people. No cars. And for a moment I feel like I’ve stepped into some kind of scary movie. But then the lights changed and headlights peeked over the hill and that sign of civilisation brought me back to reality. 


Admittedly I did jump when I got tapped on the shoulder by 3 Japanese tourists – I don’t know who was more startled, me or them when I jumped and gasped at the same time. They were wanting to know if the bus would take them to Footscray. 

It wasn’t until after midnight that I got home, but I spent the whole ride feeling inspired. It really opened my eyes to something outside the tightly-wound bubble I currently live in and I need more of those moments. 

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27 Aug – Personal Stories

Aldous Huxley said your memories are your personal literature. What story are you telling yourself today?

The day started like every other day. Daniel woke up a few minutes before his alarm was due to go off. He rolled onto his back and blinked his eyes several time as his vision adjusted to the darkness of the bedroom. Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Wrong Turns

When was the last time you got lost? Was it an enjoyable experience, or a stressful one? Tell us all about it.

It’s rare for me to get lost. I’m always the navigator. Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Rare Medium

Describe a typical day in your life — but do it in a form or in a medium you’ve rarely — if ever – used before. If you’re a photoblogger, write a poem. If you’re a poet, write an open letter. If you’re a travel blogger, write a rant. (These are all examples — choose whatever form you feel like trying out!)

IMG_2504_Fotor_Collage IMG_3504_Fotor_Collage IMG_4504_Fotor_Collage

IMG_5504_Fotor_Collage

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/rare-medium/

Daily Prompt – Game of Groans

Think about an object, an activity, or a cultural phenomenon you really don’t like. Now write a post (tongue in cheek or not — your call!) about why it’s the best thing ever.

Jeebus, where the fuck do I start… Football maybe? Chino’s? Hipsters? Dumbass people on public transport? Stupid drivers? Fucktards in general…?
Continue reading

Daily Prompt – Worst Case Scenario

Of all the awful possibilities, what’s the worst possible thing that could happen to you today? Now, what about the best?

This isn’t really an open ended question. The ultimate answer to the first part of this prompt, I would assume, would be death. The worst thing that could happen today is that I, or somebody I love, could die.

Continue reading

One Of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days?

Those days where for some unknown reason, everything seems to turn to absolute shit, and by about lunchtime you regret getting out of bed, and wish you had’ve just stayed there.

I’ve only been up for a whole 25mins, but I’m already regretting it.

It started with me throwing my eyelids open as I lay in bed, shouting out a long and panicked FFFFUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!!! see it was 7:59am, and I should have already been halfway to work. That, and my alarm went off at 6:30am!!

…great. Ugh.

I think I then got ready in the fastest possible time in the history of, well, ever, because I was dressed and out the door within minutes. I double checked my bus options and powered down to my alternate stop and caught the bus.

…which was like stepping into a sauna.

Turns out the heater on the bus is on. Mainly because the driver turned it on, and then accidentally broke the switch, so he can’t turn it off. So now we’re all sweating like pigs. Oh did I mention there are no opening windows on this bus??

…awesome.

Oh, and to add to this glorious start to the day, the bus is full of teenagers.

*cue loud groans of frustration and over the top eye rolling*

At this precise moment I contemplated getting off at the very next stop, but then that would require waiting another 18mins for the next bus, and at this rate, I’d be lucky to make it to work by 9am.

I don’t think you can possibly imagine how much I cannot stand teenagers in general. They’re just so… Feral. Blocking the aisles, being loud and abusive, climbing over seats, hitting and punching each other…. And that’s just the girls. It’s like these kids have just been collected from some kind of uncivilised remote island and they’re being let loose in society for the very first time.

They remind me of that scene from Planet of the Apes where the apes break free and go wild and terrorise the city… That’s what they’re like.

And I’m pretty sure they’d love to fling handfuls of their own shit at each other.

All I wanted was for the bus to crash and explode and end my misery. Not literally of course… But fuck, just get me off this bus ride from hell!!

Bus arrives at the train station, and then all of a sudden the fresh air hits me like a slap in the face! Ahhhhh what a relief!! I make my way through the station to my platform and when the train turns up, I choose the carriage, walk through the doors and instantly regret it, and weigh up whether I have time to jump off and race to the next carriage before the doors close.

Why?

BECAUSE SOME DIRTY FUCKER CANT CONTROL THEIR BOWELS AND FARTED ON THE TRAIN JUST BEFORE THEY GOT OFF!!

You bastard!!

10minutes later, the stench is still there, lingering just long enough to piss everybody else. One woman pulls out her ‘perfume’ and begins to spray it around her… Then like a series of dominoes, a few other ladies do the same.

It’s like walking into the perfume section of 😜Myer (big Aussie department store).

…sometimes I think I prefer the stench of an anonymous fart – only because now the train smells like candy-scented hooker which, let’s face it, is just as bad.

I get off the train, walk through the station and head down to the tram stop. Normally I’ll walk from the station to the office, but I’m running late today, so I’ll catch a tram. 2 minutes. Great.

So the tram turns up and it’s packed. Like, I’m talking packed. Sometimes I think we could give the Japanese a few tips on how to squash people onto public transport. I’m not sure what it’s like in other cities, but here in Melbourne, when it comes to people catching transport, particularly trams, they just seem to lose all sense of logic and rationale and become so completely fucking stupid. As a relatively normal person, if I see a packed tram coming towards me, then I know that I simply can’t get on it and just have to wait for the next one. Others, however, either completely ignore that fact, or treat it like a challenge. I think there’s enough room in the corner for one shoe, so that must mean I can get my entire 100kg+ body in there as well! because that’s clearly how it fucking works. Dude, just wait for the next one. These retards make my head hurt.

Needless to say, I didn’t get on the tram and had to wait for the next one.

Now I’m ten minutes late, I’m sweating in all the worst places and don’t have a change of clothes and I smell like a hooker… And I haven’t even gotten to the office yet… It’s not too late to turn around and just go home, right??

Daily Prompt: Talking in Your Sleep

Have you ever eavesdropped on a conversation you weren’t supposed to? Tell us about a time when it was impossible not to overhear a conversation between people who didn’t know you were there. What was the conversation about? How did it make you feel?

Catching public transport, you always hear conversations that you really wish you could unhear. For me, they’re always the ones that are just full of waaaay too much information, and all you wanna do is start gagging… or perhaps just throw up on them from divulging such graphic and disgusting information in such a loud voice, in such a confined space. Sometimes I actually think that people do it on purpose, just to point out something that they’ve done. It’s kinda like bragging, but you’re actually bragging to an entire train carriage full of people.

I’ve kinda already touched on this subject before, and although it is only one of countless conversations like this I’ve heard, it’s one that I actually managed to document, because it was so traumatising hehehe.

That conversation in particular made me feel quite uneasy. I just wanted a shower to wash away the filth. It was gross.

This is why now I always have my earphones in and the music playing so I can continue to avoid these situations, and prevent being subjected to the trash on transport.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/prompt-sleep/

Daily Prompt: West End Girls

Every city and town contains people of different classes: rich, poor, and somewhere in between. What’s it like where you live? If it’s difficult for you to discern and describe the different types of classes in your locale, describe what it was like where you grew up — was it swimming pools and movie stars, industrial and working class, somewhere in between or something completely different?

I live in the Western Suburbs. Generally speaking, the West is usually where different ethnicities migrate to. Lots of low-socioeconomic status; high unemployment; regular social disturbances with authority because it’s a breeding ground for all types of violence, bashings, stabbings, robberies etc. Some of the people there are nice, but at the same time, far too many tend to depict a generalisation / stereotype of those who live in the west, which makes it unappealing to the rest of society.

Prior to living here, I used to live just south of the city, it was still considered inner-city because it was so close, but where we were was in a really interesting part of town, so we had a vast mix of different people, ranging from homeless people all the way up to the upper-class. But because housing is so dense now, even just one apartment building can have quite a broad range of people living within it.

Moving to the west, for me, was a bit of a shock. As somebody who has only ever lived south of the city, and primarily in one particular area, moving out to an area where I’d never even ventured before, let alone even remotely considered living, was quite the struggle. All the things I was used to about being south side, was gone. Everything was literally on my doorstep, or was, at most, a 15 minute walk away, and that’s only if the trams were delayed or not running. Now, I find that that I have to get a bus, a train and a tram just to get to work. That in itself can be quite frustrating and exhausting, because if one of the train lines goes down, we get no trains at all and everybody ends up stranded, or scrambling to try and get on the one bus that goes into the city.

That’s the one thing I miss the most about living south-side – the transport. If I missed a tram, it was maybe 5 mins before the next one. Now, if I miss a bus, I can be waiting up to 40mins before the next bus, so I try not to miss the bus if I can help it.

Even catching the bus is an experience in itself. It’s a great representation of the different walks of life out that way. There’s the obligatory crazy person on their way to Centrelink to sort out their welfare payments; there’s all the Asian students from the university accommodation down the road from where I live; there’s the Indian people in their suits heading off to work; there’s the old people with their walkers and market trolleys blocking the aisles; there’s usually some kind of African / Somali / Senegalese woman pushing around some babies in a stroller… it’s a really interesting area. I think for me the biggest culture shock was seeing so many black Africans (truth be told, I’m not sure which nationality they are, whether they are from Somalia, Senegal etc, so I just refer to them as African). But even amongst just that particular group of people, there’s such a variety. I see the older ladies all dressed up in their finery like they’re going to church; I’ve seen the younger girls poppin’ gum doing all kinds of weird shit to their hair – reminiscent of their African-American counterparts in the U.S.; I’ve seen the young males (who are ridiculously tall) all walking around in groups. There’s usually at least one of them holding a basketball. It’s actually quite intimidating to see them all in a group at a train station, moreso at night, especially if they’re watching you. You can never tell if they are friend or foe, but I’d err on the side of caution and say I’d rather not stick around long enough to find out.

Yes, I know that that’s me being prejudiced, but it’s hard not to be when you read about fellow members of the community being bashed, stabbed and / or killed in the area, or actually at the train station. It’s hard not to be prejudiced when the police announce they’re looking for black guy who’s tall and thin and about 6’4″. It only takes one person to create a generalisation. It’s even harder when shit like this is being featured on the news a little too regularly for my liking.

I was also quite surprised to discover that even within a suburb, there are particular pockets of different nationalities. For example, in one of the suburbs near me, there’s a couple of blocks at the back of the train station which are primarily where the Africans reside; then in the centre of the suburb, is all the Asians; further west is where you find a small pocket of Egyptians, and just next to them there’s a pocket of Indians… who are also quite a majority of taxi drivers out west. and of course there’s the council flats which are full of those from the lowest socioeconomic bracket – generally speaking, the junkies, the thieves, the drug dealers, the scammers and the scumbags.

It’s been interesting for me being able to get a bit more of an insight into those who live in the west. For a period of 2 – 3 months there was extensive rail works out west, which meant either no trains at all, or extremely delayed trains, and so more often than not, I’d catch a cab home. Perfect opportunity to have a chat to the driver and find out about them and their life. I would say that the majority of the taxi drivers I encountered were Indian. And a majority of them were all here studying or working two jobs. Those who were studying all said they were studying I.T., and those who worked, worked in call centres. They all lived out west, some even further west than I do, and it was an interesting to discover that most of them lived with 3 or 4 other people in a house. Again, another generalisation I’d previously heard about.

I think it’s good for people to be out amongst the cultural melting pot of the western suburbs, rather than just living their lives surround by the caucasian middle and upper classes. It just opens itself up to prejudice, negativity and misconceptions.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/daily-prompt-west-end-girls/

Daily Prompt: Fifteen Minutes

You have 15 minutes to address the whole world live (on television or radio — choose your format). What would you say?

So, does it have to be to the whole world? Can’t it just be to my country, or even better, my own city? I don’t want to have to rant on for 15 mins to the world – it’s too political. Granted, there are a number of topics I could rant about: war, politics, hunger, money etc but it’s basically too much for my brain to handle right now.

…so instead I’ve decided to address the people of Australia. The community of people who catch public transport.

**COMMUNITY SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT**

Alright you bunch of fuckwits, it’s time you had a Transport Education, or as I’m going to call it, a Transpucation.

There seems to be a number of people who still don’t seem to have grasped the basic fundamentals when it comes to catching public transport, and how to conduct ones self whilst on public transport, so here are six (6) tips to remember when you’re out and about:

1. Use common sense.

Now, it would seem that when it comes to public transport, most of you don’t seem to actually have any common sense. Or, if you do, you don’t use it. For example, if you are travelling during peak hour and your bus / train / tram happens to look like this:

…so much space!

then it’s best for everybody if you just accept that this one is not available, and you have to wait for the next one.

There’s no harm in suggesting that people ‘move down’ the aisles in order for others to actually get on board. Public transport will only work efficiently if the people travelling on it are efficient as well. However, you also need to be mindful that generally speaking, people don’t like being told to do anything, let alone asked anything. You may as well be asking them to give you a kidney.

Now, if you are waiting at a stop / station and your transportation arrives with people squished against the doors and windows like this:

your first reaction should be:

Oh well, this one is too crowded, I’ll just wait for the next one.

instead of:

LOOK AT HOW MUCH ROOM THERE IS FOR ME!! I’M SO TINY AND TAKE UP NO SPACE AT ALL, I’LL JUST SLIDE ON IN AND I WON’T IRRITATE ANYBODY ELSE AT ALL.

This is something that I see multiple times per day.

It really shouldn’t be so difficult.

What exactly is it about all the people sandwiched in like sardines that makes you convince yourself that there’s enough room for you on there? Seriously, what is it? I am also in the process of developing a medical team to diagnose this problem and working on either medication for it and / or a surgical response. This will hopefully be up and running by mid-2014. Initially we will be looking at appointing a team of surveillance officers who will be responsible for identifying these individuals and report them for a review.

Also, if you’re one of the people who’s decided to stand in the doorway, you need to realised that you are obligated to actually move out of the way everytime the train / tram stops, in order for other commuters to leave the carriage. This requires you to physically exit the carriage and patiently wait on the sides next to the door, allowing the passengers to disembark without interruption, and then you can re-enter the carriage, take up a (now) available seat, and continue on your merry little way.

2. Bags on seats

For all of you out there who catch transport, especially during peak-hour, who of you has gotten on a bus / train / tram that’s already packed, only to find that there’s a free seat with somebody’s backpack / shopping / handbag on it?

I thought so.

Now, have you then gone one step further and politely asked that person to move their bag so you, or a fellow traveller could sit down?

Nice.

And did that person:

  1. Groan
  2. Roll their eyes
  3. Act as though you’ve asked them to shave their head and it’s now the end of the world
  4.  All the above, -OR-
  5. Tell you to go fuck yourself.

?!?! Anybody? Are any of you guilty of this yourself?

‘Excuse me, duck lips… does your bag have it’s own ticket??’

Right, so let’s make it perfectly clear – and I’m definitely talking to all the school students out there – BAGS DO NOT BELONG ON SEATS!! The basic rule of public transport is this:

if it doesn’t have a ticket, it doesn’t get aseat

Now, I know that a vast number of you will have questions about this, but if you’re unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact the Public Transport Authority and they will happily explain it to you in further detail. If required, they can demonstrate using pictures.

3. Seats for elderly / injured / pregnant.

We’ve all seen them. They’re the seats right next to the door that are reserved for those who are:

  • elderly
  • injured
  • pregnant
  • disabled

Now, if you happen to be sitting in one of those seats, you are required to give up your seat for anybody who fits into that category.

Unless you prefer to be a selfish ignorant moll, like this woman.

It’s not that difficult. You shouldn’t need to be asked to move. You should be exercising you common sense (See Item 1.) and vacating the seat voluntarily. If you end up having an argument either with the person requesting the seat, or with a fellow commuter who might be yelling at you for being so selfish, then you need to STOP AND THINK about why they may possibly be upset with you.

meanwhile…Whatever you do, don’t ever, EVER take that risk in China…

And if you’re pregnant... the Pregnant Police are keeping tabs on you and your selfish shitbag behaviour. Nobody is impressed with you for yelling at the pregnant woman about how you ‘got the seat first’.

4. Music / phone conversations

Let’s start with conversations. Regardless of whether you’re having a conversation with a person next to you, or if you’re having a conversation with a person on the telephone, you need to be mindful of the other commuters around you.

WHEN YOU TALK REALLY LOUDLY LIKE THIS FOR A TWENTY MINUTE TRAIN TRIP INTO THE CITY, AND THE TRAIN IS REALLY QUIET, YOU MAY AS WELL JUST BE DOING THIS FOR THE WHOLE TIME:

Nobody, and I mean, nobody wants to hear what you have to say. Especially when you feel so obligated to discuss with your best friend, over the phone, the various sexual positions you and Bazza (the guy you went home with after your drunken night out last night after work) got up to. We don’t need to know what his cock’s like, and how sore your vagina is, or how many times you guys did it before you vomited on each other from too much motion.

It’s 8am in the morning. We’re all tired. Nobody is proud of you for being a drunken skank and going to work in the same clothes you wore yesterday. You’re a dirty whore and everybody is thinking it, whilst wishing you would just shut the fuck up.

MEANWHILE, for those of you who enjoy listening to music whilst commuting, that’s great. No doubt, you feel like this:

And that’s great. Keep your singing voice inside your head when you want to belt out some Celine Dion at 8am. However, please be aware that your fellow travellers might not have the same up-and-at-’em attitude that you might have. They may have other issues on their mind that have them worried or stressed, and the last thing they need to hear at 8am is a muffled nightclub blasting from your ears.

If others can hear your music, then it’s too loud.

5. Bikes / prams

Bikes / Prams + Crowded Train = NOT. A. CHANCE!

First of all, if you’re taking your bike on the train, doesn’t that actually defeat the entire purpose of having a bike in the first place?? Until such time as the Public Transport Authority decide to make a carriage dedicated to strictly bikes and prams, they do not belong on crowded public transport.

But what about those of you taking the to creche at work?

Well then you need to be more proactive in the way you approach this. We all understand that travelling with an infant requires a lot of additional equipment, clothes, blankets, wipes, nappies, bottle etc etc, but this can also be carried in a backpack. Alternatively, you can invest in a wearable baby-harness / pouch, or fold your pram up if you absolutely must use transport, to avoid your bulky pram blocking the ailes and doorways and inconveniencing fellow commuters.

and where exactly do you think you’re putting your bike / pram??

6. Keep to the left.

It’s that important, Beyonce wrote it into a song.

“…to the left, to the left…”

When you’re travelling to and from your transport at the train station, always tell yourself ‘to the left, to the left’.

When you’re taking the escalator? To the left, to the left.

When you’re on the stairs?To the left, to the left.

They’re supposed to look like this:

But for a majority of you, you seem to forget that some people actually don’t want to partake in the Line Ride. Some of us have places to be, and by keeping to the left, will allow us to move past the rest of you quickly and calmly.

However, it would appear that some of you don’t seem to know which is your left:

…which just sends people in to a table-flipping rage. This is quite inconsiderate for the other commuters behind you. So if you are one of these people, please don’t be offended when people start yelling at you to move, or trying to push you out of the way to get past. They’re impatient, but you’re also causing their frustration, so you only have yourself to blame. And if you’re blocking the right-side with a suitcase, please don’t be surprised if it gets thrown over the side. You should always keep a suitcase a step or two in front of you on an escalator. That way if it falls, it won’t pose an injury to anybody else but you.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/fifteen-minutes/