Sunday, 6 October 2019

Train trips: Seven

This is the seventh 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.

12 August

I had an appointment in Crows Nest that finished at around 11.15am after which I walked south along the Pacific Highway toward North Sydney. On the way there I passed a group of three men who were engaged in cleaning the windows of a building. One of them wore a harness to enable him to scale the exterior of the structure, and as I walked on the pavement he moved out of my way, allowing me to go ahead.

After walking for just on 20 minutes I got to the train station. There were still five minutes to go before the train heading to Central Station would arrive so I waited on the underground platform. When the train pulled up I got on one of its carriages and went downstairs to its lower deck, taking a seat on a bench of two next to a window. A woman with blonde hair, who was aged in her early 30s and who wore a black woollen coat, sat down next to me.

Seated on the bench in front of ours another young woman, with long brown hair and wearing a tan woollen coat, was responding to emails on her laptop. I could hear the tap-tap of the keys she hit with her fingers, and see the changing screen display as she clicked on one icon after another and rapidly typed missives to her correspondents.

The train was ultimately bound for Emu Plains. It entered the tunnel at the southern end of the Harbour Bridge before stopping at Wynyard where a number of people, including the blonde woman in the black coat, got off. At Town Hall a number of people got on, making the deck about half full of passengers. I tried to count all the people on the deck but the task was too difficult to complete without drawing attention to myself.

At Central, where we arrived at 11.55am, I got off and used the toilet, then washed my hands and dried them and left the North Concourse, heading up the escalators. I went to the light rail platform and got there two minutes before the tram was due to depart. I queued at the edge of the platform and when the empty tram pulled up in front of me I got on it and sat down in a seat in the second-last carriage of the vehicle.

Two young women were standing in the space between the carriages, in front of me, talking in Chinese. Later, one of them spoke to a young man who was standing to my left, making it clear that the three of them were travelling together. They would all get off at Pyrmont Bay station. One of the women wore a long, dull pink woollen coat and had a tan knitted scarf around her neck. The other woman had on tight black jeans. The young man they spoke with wore white sneakers on his feet.

At one of the stations leading up to that point, a young mother with a pram and a small child, a boy, who was aged about five years, got on. She stood by the door. The boy knelt on a seat next to the door with his feet hanging over the edge of it, the soles of his shoes facing the people seated opposite. He was looking out the window, as children like to do. The mother and the boy were also Asian and she had a baby slung around her neck in a pouch. She was using her mobile phone as she stood there waiting to arrive at her destination.

A white-skinned man with dark hair who was sitting directly opposite me talked into his phone though a microphone slung around his neck. He spoke in Portuguese. Next to him, to his left, sat a young Asian woman wearing a black coat and to her left sat another man talking into his phone in Portuguese. This man had on headphones and had dark skin. At the end of the row of seats I was sitting on another Chinese woman, who was about my age, was talking with someone standing in front of her, as they were travelling together.

I left the tram at the casino as usual and, for lunch, bought some nori maki and a bottle of orange juice at the shopping arcade just to the east of the building, then took my purchases home, arriving there on foot at 12.37pm.

No comments: