Monday, 5 August 2019

Train trips: Two

This is the second post in a series. The first in the series went up on 27 July 2019. This series is similar in its execution to the ‘collage’ series that started in May 2017.

31 July

Caught the train home from Newtown. I got to the platform just after 8.30pm and a train was pulling out. I had 12 minutes to wait for the next one. I sat down and used my mobile phone.

To my right, standing on the platform, a young man and a young woman aged in their early 20s were canoodling. The man wore shorts and had a skateboard under one of his feet and I heard him say something about getting off at Town Hall, whence the expected train was bound. The woman had on a red skirt and a light blue jean jacket and had a black handbag on a chain strap around her neck. He put his arm around her at one stage and they were talking companionably.

When the train arrived I got on and sat down on the mezzanine level. Opposite me were two Asian men and an Asian woman all aged in their late 20s. Between the woman and one of the men was an empty seat with some full white plastic singlet bags resting there; possibly dinner. The woman and one of the men were using their mobiles and the man in the middle was talking on his phone. At Redfern the woman and one of the men got off the train and the man in the middle got off with me at Central.

I went to the light rail platform and the sign said the tram would come in six minutes. I stood waiting at the platform’s edge. The tram was visible across the park when the indicator said there were still three minutes before its departure and it rode silently up the hill, its lights blazing in the darkness. A young woman who was throwing her hair around stood behind me on the platform; I could see her out of the corner of my eye as I watched the tram pull up to let passengers off.

It came to the outbound platform and stopped and I got on and sat down in a seat. A young Anglo man wearing a hi-vis vest and an Akubra hat who had a short light-brown beard got on and told people how long they had to wait until the tram would leave the station: three minutes. A young Asian man wheeling a silver-coloured compact suitcase got on and sat down opposite me, just to my right.

After the tram started moving, at around 9.05pm, two other transport company employees started checking the Opal cards of passengers, moving through the carriage with handheld devices and scanning the cards people offered to them. Mine was checked. The young man with the hat kept talking, telling people, after we had crossed George Street, that the next station would be Paddy's Markets. At Exhibition Centre the young Asian woman sitting in the seat directly opposite me, who was carrying a bag holding two milk tea containers, got off. By this time it was raining steadily and quite heavily. The two rail employees who had been checking Opal cards also got off at this stop.

The young man with the silver-coloured suitcase got off the tram at Pyrmont Bay and I got off at the casino, as usual. The rain was still coming down but I had brought an umbrella in my green satchel so I was safe. I walked out the east exit and turned northwest, walking up the hill. The gutters were running with water. A man in a suit came out of the casino at this point and entered the building opposite, a residential block, through its garage entrance. He had no umbrella but it looked as though he lived there.

I went to the pub on the corner of John Street and used the ATM to take out some cash. A group of five or six people aged in their sixties were sitting at a table in the front bar. The bartender looked up at me as I left the building onto Harris Street. I got home at just on 9.30pm.

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