Sunday, 8 December 2019

Train trips: Nine

This is the ninth 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.

16 August

Caught the tram from Central to the casino, on my way home. I arrived at the light rail platform at Central at 9.40pm and tapped on with my Opal card using the reader installed near the tracks. Then I queued. There were seven minutes to wait until the tram arrived. There were other people on the platform but it wasn’t crowded. It was late on a Friday night and most people had already gone home.

Two young Asian women standing near me on the platform were talking to each other and it sounded like Cantonese but I wasn’t sure. When the tram pulled up at the inbound stop the sign on its front read “Central.” After the passengers had all got off, the sign changed to “Dulwich Hill.” The tram moved forward along its rails, with the driver, a heavyset, older Anglo man, visible in his cabin at the front of the vehicle. It came to the outbound platform and the doors opened. I got on and sat down.

Other people got on the tram at the same stop, including two young Asian men who looked tired. One of them sat down in a seat opposite me, to the right, and the other placed his bottom on the top of a raised seat and leaned his torso back a bit toward the window.

A group of young people also got on who were evidently on their way to the casino. There were some young women, and a young man who wore a tan coloured camouflage T-shirt with writing on it. He had dyed blonde hair and he spoke in a husky voice. He moved around the carriage a lot and talked to his companions. They all looked to be just out of their teens, on a big night out in the adult world.

At another stop two more young Asian men got on. One of them sat down in a seat near mine and he gestured to his companion to sit down next to me, but this man declined the invitation. They talked to each other in Chinese. At Pyrmont Bay a young couple, both of whom were Asian, got on. The woman placed her bottom on the top of a raised seat and, leaning her back toward the window, stood there as the man had done who I had earlier seen standing in the carriage. The man who was with her stood to her right, facing her and talking with her.

Apart from the group of young revellers everyone, at this hour, seemed to be exhausted. It was unusual for me to travel on a train so late, so I was especially aware of these things. At the casino, where we arrived at 10.05pm, as I had anticipated the young people on their night out got off the tram. I tapped off with my card and, walking just behind them, went up an escalator. They were talking about how they should have stayed in the casino’s hotel. One of the young women commented that there were seven of them in the group so they could split the tab seven ways.

At the top of the escalator I looked north along the corridor but from a glance that way it looked as though the door at its end was closed so I went down the external escalator and walked around the east side of the building, heading left up the hill. I got home at 10.15pm.

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