Saturday, May 1, 2010

minor irritants

Alan is intently trying to explain the Large Hadron Collider to me, using three pencils, two cigarettes (origins unknown, neither of us smoke) a straw, a usb stick and a pencil sharpener. I have had two hours sleep and am trying desperately to understand why everyone thinks the LHC is so dangerously wonderful when he breaks off and says
"Whatever happened to that blog of yours?"'
I mutter something about Lillian Faderman and Lytton Strachley and Marston and stupid religious reforms before hurling my usb stick towards the pencil sharpener. Nothing happens except they stop moving, and we both pause. Clearly the Swiss have a better set up than we do.
"Perhaps we'd get a more realistic reaction if we used glitter."


I am growing used to Sydneysiders and their terrible behaviour on public transport. I have had my bottom pinched by lecherous old men in the crowds at peak hour, my pudgy upper arm pinched by a cranky woman who wanted to be standing where I was. I have had things thrown at me by idiot youths. I once had to endure a very smelly man providing the entire carriage with a running commentary about how bad my posture was.
But Wednesday just about had me learning to drive.
Sydney trains come in about four varieties, all dated from 1826. The train I was on had a bench seat that seated three, then an aisle, then a bench seat for two. I boarded this train at 8.42am at Ashfield. It was nearly full, and one thing people in Sydney hate is other people. Especially on trains. I agree with this line of thinking, but it was early and I wanted to sit down. So I politely squeezed past the tiny girl who was sitting on the aisle side of a three-seater. She though this was a bit rude, and let out a giant sigh. And threw her bag over the remainder of the seat.
I let out an equally huge sigh, and put my bag on top of hers, (it couldn't go in my lap, I had three chapters of Faderman to read before 10am).
It was a long journey, this time even longer because this girl would not stop sighing. Clearly I was an affront to decency by daring to sit near her.
When we got to Redfern, the two-seater across the aisle became free. She stood up and moved towards it, taking her bag. And mine.
"That is taking it a bit too far" I thought. So I politely, and loudly asked
"Sorry, do you mind if I have my bag back?"
She let out another huge sigh, as if this was a terrible thing for me to have asked her, and I snatched my bag back. I then stormed up into the vestibule, waiting for Central (next after Redfern). Idiot girl got out at Central too, and I was determined not to have to deal with her on the bus to uni.
She pushed in front of me in the bus queue.
By the time I got to university, I had calmed down a bit, grabbed a coffee and was nearly finished with my Faderman. I sat in the sun, slowly defrosting (mornings are cold here!) and ignoring my watch.
When I finally bothered to check the time, I realised I was two minutes late for my lecture, so I ambled off (past the continually sighing girl who was no doubt bitching about me to all her friends. unsw is a small small place sometimes). And was confronted with a sign that said
"Dear H.O.S. Students, in case you haven't checked your email, the lecture is cancelled today as Z is sick."

I went home, feeling curiously defeated by life. If I had checked my email, then I wouldn't have put myself and that girl in a bad mood.

But I still think Sydney public transport users should learn some manners. Its that or facing me on the roads.

1 comment:

elo said...

that girl is a FOOL. geeze. she must have sat on a cactus or something!

i got your message BUT I HAVE NO CREDIT! tegan and sara is on THIS FRIDAY IN SYDNEY!!! and i'm going and so is grace, kaitlin isn't but we're staying at hers for her latebirthday and um ... YOU SHOULD GO TO THE CONCERT OKAY????????????????

lemme know!
i THINK there are still tickets but i'm not so sure...