Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Taking a drive: One (Lakemba)

On Saturday I set off for Lakemba for some shopping. The first photo in this series is timestamped 1.11pm and the last one is stamped 2.44pm. I took the Western Distributor, heading across Parramatta Road near the eastern entrance of WestConnex.

The following photo was taken at the ramp there leading to Frederick Street, Ashfield. Here I am at a spot just to the south of the tunnel entrance, heading up the hill toward the intersection. The green sign points drivers west to the Blue Mountains on Parramatta Road or, if you stay in the left lane, to a spot where you can cross Parramatta Road if you want to head south into suburban streets.


The next photo shows a VW that cut in front of me on Frederick Street after the lights (near Bunnings). The driver of this car did not wave to say “Thank you” and I snapped this image in response to what I perceived to be a lack of manners. I didn’t have to let this person in: he or she just forced their way into my lane and then decided that they were entitled to the privilege. I saw plenty of VWs on my trip, as well as Audis, Mercedes Benzes and BMWs but most of the cars I saw were Japanese makes.


I crossed the Hume Highway and then turned right into Georges River Road, which I kept on well past the point at which it becomes Punchbowl Road. So, I headed west for about three kilometres until I took a left turn off the main thoroughfare at Lakemba into quiet Hampden Street which is flanked by two- and three-storey blocks of units built in the 1970s. 

I turned left into Lakemba Street, heading back east, and immediately stopped in a queue of cars turning right (the following photo shows what I saw while waiting), to head south into Haldon Street, the main drag, where the train station is located. 



The next photo shows a rare Ford. The stationary cars are waiting on Haldon Street for their users to return from shopping. There are tons of great food shops here, including restaurants, grocery stores, fruit and vege shops, and butchers. 


In one store I bought a shirt (see photo below) with a $15 price tag. At another store I bought, for $1, a bag of seven discs of wholemeal Lebanese bread.


The following photo shows my car parked on Haldon Street. Parking here on Saturday is unlimited after 12pm, though at peak times you can only park for 30 minutes. I bought some things including food and some of those purchases will be listed in about two weeks’ time in my monthly grocery post.


On the way home I drove south on Bexley Road, went over the M5 motorway and the East Hills train line, then headed through Bexley to the Princes Highway, which I joined at Rockdale. I turned north and was surprised when I saw a RAV4 in front of me with, in the next lane to the right, a later-model RAV4. The photo below was taken just before the Gardeners Road intersection. 


I’m getting one of these cars in April, a hybrid petrol-electric Toyota RAV4 to replace my 3.5-litre Aurion. In the morning of the same day as I took a drive to Lakemba I saw a RAV4 in the parking garage of the Broadway Shopping Centre, where I had driven to visit a store. I had been backing my car into a bay and the SUV dawdled by in the access lane, its driver heading into the building to find a place to stop and park. 

This model of car is not as common on the roads, however, as, say, the Mazda 2 which, it seems, is everywhere. On this day’s drive I was surprised as well by the numbers of Audis there are on the roads in Sydney’s southwest. It’s certainly true, as review websites always note, that sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) are popular. One vehicle of this type that is not hard to find is the BMW X5. When my son was out here at the start of the year he mentioned this but, because he sells Beemers, he is more attuned than I am to such phenomena.

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