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I was going to write about Trains

There's something about me and public transport that just don't gel well at all. I'm all in favour for it, but I somehow always seem to end up living in a place which just isn't that well serviced by the transportation. This isn't really too much of a problem during summer, because I can handle waiting around an hour for a bus to take me home in the dead of night. Now that it is Really Fucking Cold™, I'm not quite enjoying standing near the river so much. I've also been quite surprised to learn the way in which late-running buses catch up time, which is to simply not pick up passengers. Pure genius - but it doesn't really help those people waiting for the bus.

It's actually so cold here that it snowed on Thursday. We had about 10cm of snow overnight, and I awoke to a very different looking Heidelberg. There's something about snow which gives you a bit of an emotional boost just before the dark depression of winter kicks in. It was funny watching the reactions of people to the snow when it first started falling, with otherwise normal people acting like big kids. I'm still waiting for a slightly larger snowfall, so I can try my hand at making snow-men or snow-chickens. Since I'm talking about the weather, I should mention this recently released report on some apparently conclusive evidence that humans have had a significant impact on global warming. I'm not a climatologist, and I don't know one, so does anyone have any ideas whether this report is about right?

Bruce Lee is a bit of a revered figure. I'd read about this a few months ago, but the Serbians have erected a statue of the man himself in their town, as a symbol of unity (or something). Apart from the fact that it's largely incongruous having this bronze statue of a Chinese martial arts god who made his big break in the United States in a town that's predominantly Ethnic Serbian, they probably couldn't have picked a better role-model. I watched a documentary ages ago on Bruce Lee's life and I was impressed by his dedication to his work, the amount of energy and thought he put into it, and the holistic approach he took. It wasn't just about insane fitness, but also a psychological and philosophical approach to his life. It's like he decided to be the best person he could be, and systematically went about achieving it. His death was a bit weird though. I'm not sure if this is all particularly relevant to this one town (I think all towns need statues of Bruce Lee), but what I'm trying to get at here is - Happy Birthday Bruce.

Something else which is a source of reverence, which I only found out on Friday night, is Heartbreak High. It's a childrens TV series based in a high school in Sydney, originally broadcast on TEN and Aunty. It's like an Australian Degrassi. I was talking to some Dutch people, and I mentioned that I was from Australia, which then set them off about Heartbreak High. They absolutely love it, it's like some kind of instituion in Holland, where they strap children to chairs, prop their eyes open with matchsticks, and then get them to watch the series over and over to indoctrinate them into the cult of Con. From what I remember, it wasn't too bad a series, but I don't know if it really deserves such a degree of fanaticism. It's not like it's Buffy or anything.

I was going to write about trains here, but I think you've heard enough from me already. Maybe something more later this week..

11 comments

butercup *

Trains suck.

'nuff said.

butercup *

Actually though, after thinking over that comment, what I should have said was, train suck so much that I'm buying a car! Yes, me. Probably a new Mazda2. Mmmm. zoom-zoom.

Yes, I know it looks like a fridge, but it's really nice to drive!!!

brionydoyle *

I read about the Bruce Lee thingy. Apparently they chose him as a symbol of acceptance of ethnic diversity or something, which makes him highly appropriate.
Heartbreak High huh? Well, at least it's better than Home and Away and Neighbours, which have achieved a similar status in the U.K. What must those foreigners think of us?

Apepoker *

Is the train trip from Bumfuck, NSW to Mascot really that awful? I can't imagine driving being any better, unless you can start and finish outside peak hour.

Hiren Joshi *

Well, I'd guess it's the lesser of all evils. The trains really suck. The buses really suck. The roads are ludicrously congested, and so really suck. Bar staying at home - I don't think there's anything else you can really do.

Apepoker *

If possible, you can move to a city which doesn't have such a spread out 'design', congested transport systems and overpriced housing (meaning all the hand-wringing over shitty transport options disappears). This is something I am increasingly considering. Sydney has lost a large amount of its appeal as I have grown older and more boring.

Hiren Joshi *

I'd have to agree on the anti-Sydney sentiment. I'm thinking either Brisbane of Melbourne by the time (if) I eventually get back.

butercup *

meh! Bumfuck NSW is such a nice part of Sydney to live in :P

The thing about the driving is not that it's a shorter trip, but that it's in my own personal air-conditioned space. Who cares about global warming when you're shoved up against someone's behind (if you're lucky enough to get a seat) or armpit (if not). So I reiterate, with modifications: trains suck in summer in Sydney so much that I'm buying a car so I can have my own personal airconditioned space in which to complain about the city in which I live :)

Hiren Joshi *

Shouldn't you be biking it - or something - to work in summer? :P

You'll need to pimp out your stereo in your car, so you can listen to stuff while you're sitting in the traffic. Either that, or make up games to play with other motorists who are stuck in cars around you. Like charades or something.

butercup *

games - like "what's that smell?" which I'm an expert at, having walked through the heady atmosphere of Mascot for a year ...

bikes - ahahahaha. Yeah, right. You haven't seen me on a bike have you? But apparently with the seats folded you can fit 2 mountain bikes in the back of the Mazda2 that's soon-to-be-mine. I'll rent the space out to you :)

Apepoker *

I gotta agree with Di...biking through the Alexandria/Rosebery/Mascot area is not only smelly, but downright suicidal.

You should be able to easily throw two bikes into the back of something the size of a Mazda2. A pair of bikes and all the other related bits and pieces fit into the back of my 206 without any real hassle when the back seats are down. You have to remember to remove the wheels though :-)

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