Thursday, March 10, 2011

living death

I thought I would try to avoid the monster queue at N Melbourne so today I played it smart and got off at Kensington to take the bus from there. As a transport interchange, that place offers neither of the things it promises (i.e. no transport and no interchanging). The level crossing of the railway line means that traffic is often backed up right out of Kensington but at the same time it might well be doing that anyway without the railway line, as the street is ludicrously narrow (it has actually been narrowed; it doesn't need to be; and there is a doubly wide section of footpath that could be a bus stop but this would presumably limit the village atmosphere of three blocks of backed up stinking traffic trying to find a sneaky way into the city and impeded by a stopped bus and train boom gates). The bus spends so long at the stop waiting for people to get on, that more people keep coming along; it's absurd. And then once it sets off of course it takes a freakin' age to get there. A youngish woman and a child of 3-4 were in the seat in front of me having an argument about who was more cranky. It was at least a friendly argument.

I could have spent the time working on my laptop except I had nowhere to put my umbrella and was very distracted by the men at the back complaining about the stupid government and myki and the woman up the front who was coughing half her body weight in phlegm into a handkerchief. She was a magician because whatever she was coughing up it was constant, but the handkerchief remained - at least in her mind - functional. The man next to her had one of those trolleys with an oxygen bottle on it, but he was stoic and silent.

Hell is other people, I know, but the bus from Footscray to E Melbourne via Kensington traverses a particular ring you don't want to pass through that often.


Ann O'Dyne said...

Face it, you could have walked faster than the progress of that bus.
As a frequent user of all the kinds of public transport I concede to you that the fellow traveller with mobile oxygen takes the prize in any contest; and at least CoughWoman HAD a handkerchief (I cannot believe that actually).
I am so absolutely sick of being coughed and sneezed on by morons with no concept of health, or regard for others.
Re the North Melb queues you wanted to avoid: just be glad we don't have the random backpack search-stops that London commuters have.

Anonymous said...

Is that the 402/404? That's one of my favourite routes! 15 years since I was a regular Footscray -Melb Uni commuter but it was always good for lots of junkies, very recently arrived migrants/refugees and 60s Carlton theatre types. Classic hodge-podge of people, and you get a good look at dear old Arden Street Oval. I recommend the Albion Hotel if you're looking for some aggro. Richard.