Friday, November 27, 2009

Ding Ding

I think the 'Melbourne in love with its trams' saying is a bit of a myth really and whilst there would probably have been a good argument to keep the horse and cart, someone made a good decision somewhere. I travel by tram a lot because my failed governments were too busy pulling each other's hair and calling each other names to put in a decent underground railway system and I don't find many people on board commenting about their affection for this rattling, bitumen destroying pile of tin. Trams belong to an era when we were just experimenting with steam trains and it didn't take very much for us to get all excited and give them names. Today's tram travel is an overcrowded bore and the wearing of i-pods is mandatory to drown out the noise of those women who persist in calling their equally bewildered friends whilst travelling on the tram and sharing the details of their weekend plans, colleagues worst attributes or previous night's vomit inducing binge. Shut the fuck up. If only my hardened glares would reach into their tiny brains.

A man in his 70's got on today and requested the 20 something to move her weary handbag from the seat so he could sit down. Can I slap her for that alone? He seems happy to be on his journey and was looking around and clearly wanting to join in a conversation with someone. He says to disinterested bag carer "she's warming up out there today...". He gets in return a grunt with not so much as eye contact from her. How rude. Are we so important that we can't provide some convivial comment on the weather? I took out my earphones as an offer of an alternative in case of the need for further discussion but he obviously thought better than to speak to the woman with the "shut the fuck up" look on her face. In some countries no one uses mobile phones on public transport because it would be ill mannered. If we kept the horse and carriage the traffic system would probably be the same with dedicated horse lanes, spray painted horses advertising the latest Grand Theft Auto game and MyHorse Card systems that don't work, and when the carriage pulled up at the lights you would hear "I was sooooo blind it was awesome". Clippity Clop. Ding ding whatever.


  1. I feel sorry for the old guy but glad that he asked her to shift her bag and then tried to start up a conversation. At least he's got some manners and common sense.

    I hate hate HATE it when there's a nearly crowded tram and someone sits on the aisle-side of a two-person seat. Being a newly-minted 'Angry Old Bag' I now always barge through, say 'excuse me' and pretty well brush my arse against that stupid person's face as I squeeze past and sit down.

    And yes, at 41 I'm already starting up conversations on trams and (touches wood) so far haven't been rebuffed or had anyone get up and move. Yet.

    Word verification: SQUIN. The impertinent little Squin sitting next to the old gentleman found later that she couldn't remove her iPod ear buds and needed medical attention and chopsticks to yank them out...

  2. Ha Ha at the "squin". I hate it when I'm on an almost empty bus and an overly large person gets on and squeezes onto the seat next to me. There's a whole bus behind you to choose from! Don't be squashing me against the window...
    I also wear my i-pod firmly plugged in and hope that people won't talk to me because I never know what to say. I suck at conversation. But, (there's always a but), I do wish people would ignore their mobile phones in other places as well. The supermarket for instance. I really get annoyed when I'ved finished processing the customer's goods and have to wait for the payment while they finish their phone conversation. Meanwhile the rest of the queue starts looking impatient.

  3. Our buses are the same. The only person talking is the teen on her iPhone with her 'OMG, like like . .' sexually charged conversation. I found it very difficult to buy a ticket from the machine when they don't take notes and a smelly man happens to choose to stand right in front of it so I have to duck under his armpit to buy my ticket!