June 15, 2012

More Slices of Life on the Midland Train

About 6 months ago I wrote about some of my experiences on one of the suburban train lines here in Perth. I explained that this particular line  "runs from Midland, in the east, through the city to Fremantle, on the coast. It takes about an hour, with many stops, and along the way passes through suburbs covering a very wide range of socio-economic levels."

It continues to be a valuable source of learning about other lives ... and my own.

Firstly, a potential fairy tale.
There has to be a story here. I understand why someone might wear fluffy pink slippers to the station on a cold morning, but wouldn't you notice that one had come off?
Perhaps this is a Midland version of Cinderella. 

Back on the train:
     One day there was a disheveled middle aged person (common), 
                  of indeterminate gender (uncommon), 
                             muttering constantly (common), 
                                        and frequently spraying a powerful deodorant all over him/herself and nearby passengers (unique).

Another day, the train was in entertainment overdrive. 
  • A very large man opposite (wearing only a vest and shorts) was listening to his very loud portable radio tuned to the racing. I bravely asked if he had earphones. Guess. 
  • So I moved away, only to get hit on the leg by a ball being thrown back and forth between 2 very loud children standing on the seats. Apology from them or their mother (yelling angrily into her phone)? Guess. 
  • My ears and temper were both suffering by now, so it was just as well a very loud evangelist was marching up and down, up and down, shouting that redemption was nigh. I could only hope.

And another fairy tale to finish ...

I was on the last train to make it through before a fire closed the line, so I knew nothing about it and went to work as usual. 
Many hours later, on the way home, I arrived at a darkened station with no-one in sight, but as I stood there wondering what was happening, a train pulled in to the platform, so I got on. 

In fact it was the first passenger train to get through in the whole day, so I had my own private carriage for the 40 minutes to Midland, even though it stopped conscientiously at all the intervening (and completely empty) stations.

I confess that I narrowly resisted the temptation to move to a different seat every 30 secs, or to swing my way along the hand rails, and contented myself with waving regally to the non-existent bystanders, a bit like this:


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