Thursday, April 03, 2014

screw it

Melbourne buses. I mean screw it I keep a blog in part to vent over bullshit that I wouldn’t bore anyone else with. I recommend you do not read the following:

OK so I need to get from my workplace (Parkville) to the doctor (Westmeadows) in an hour and a quarter. Public Transport Victoria’s website says yes. (Actually first it says ‘cannot load at this time, try again later’ but then it says ‘yes’). So I do as it advises and get the right time train to Essendon station. That works fine, against most odds. I’m there with a few minutes to spare, all good, who wants to hang out in that place, not I. So I find the stop with the timetables and stuff and I’m ready. A couple of buses go by and don’t go to my stop. Then I see the 477 – the bus I want – sail gaily by. Why? Well, according to the bus driver (who does, kindly, stop in the middle of the road when I hail him), the bus stop is not where the post with the timetables and the sign saying ‘477 Broadmeadows’ is – it’s a little further down the road where the seats are. So that’s good to know for future reference. At the same time it’s irritating enough.

Anyway, I’m on it. So we start out. It’s one of those bus journeys, so common in this city, which has a parallel to a shaggy dog story or a miniseries that wants to keep you watching week after week by making you wonder what happens in the end. Twists and turns. This one goes from Airport West very straightforwardly to Tullamarine (the shopping centre, not the airport – gordon bennett, imagine you were trying to get to Tullamarine Airport) thence (I love the NSW railways terminology) to Gladstone Park shopping centre. Then you think – what else is there but Westmeadows. Then it goes back towards Tullamarine. Then it turns and goes back to Gladstone Park – no, it doesn’t do a uey, it just goes round a huge arc through Gladstone Park for no apparent purpose except to check that there wasn’t anyone at Gladstone Park shopping centre who really did want the bus but was a bit shy in coming forward. Crikey!

So you’re always thinking, should I get off here? Because time’s running out and I am kind of close to where I want to be, I could probably make it. Then it goes the wrong way and you think, no I better stay on, because otherwise I’m going to be even more late. Then it gets close again. Then it strays again.

And you look up the timetable on the PTV website online via your phone and this time, it’s telling you that the bus that was supposed to get to W’meadows at 4:45 is actually getting there at 4:55. (But get this, it was a joke because you do actually get there at 4:45. And the joke is more on you than anything else, because you get to the doctor and you wait for ever and ever and ever.).

Oh, and the penultimate insult. While the bus is going circuitously nervously never quite getting to its goal, you get both of the worst songs ever to hear on a bus, and practically anywhere as well: ‘The Pina Colada Song’, and ‘Time after Time’. Fuck off. And the bus driver, god bless him for stopping at Essendon, but he’s eating a chicken sandwich while driving (I mean, is that appropriate?). Jesus. 

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