Saturday, 9 February 2019

going on trams

So I had to go on trams a total of six times between Tuesday and Thursday - indeed I had to go on thirteen different individual trams, an almost unbelievable statistic really when one thinks about it, but now I can at least say, I have experienced a different side of life, and as I reflected to the bike shop dude, it's important not to let yourself get into a situation where you cannot ever go on trams at all because it's all too strange and hideous and sad and all your mykis have expired. Putting my newly generated tram expertise together with the fact that last weekend I went to Greensborough and back on the train, I feel very expert on public transport and its pros and cons, considered independently and also relative to travelling by bicycle.

Cons first

1. Disgusting, especially in the afternoon

2. Very crowded, especially in the afternoon, just when it's hot and everyone is sweaty and they all smell really dreadful.

3. You have to pay to go on a tram, you have to wait around a lot, and you have to go where the tram goes.


1. When you go on a tram you get to see what Swanston Street looks like from inside them. The morning trams were almost empty. In contrast to the afternoon tram people, the morning tram people either didn't smell at all or else their smells were positively delightful. Also, one's fellow commuters are much, much pleasanter to look at on trams than on bicycles because they are dressed not in clingy lycra garments and when they are in front of you the parts of them you can see, generally speaking, are their faces (which one the whole are quite beautiful in the softness of the early morning light and their quiet introspection, on the 96 at least, I would not like to speculate on how people catching the 48 look) and not their arses. One of many really bad things about lycra bike shorts is that the people don't wear underpants under them, and the lycra wears thin, so you really can see their arses. It's unbearable.

2. Approaching work from the western flank rather from the east. I appreciated the opportunity to do that.

As I was saying, I shared with the bike shop dude (BSD) my theory on the homeopathic benefits of sometimes getting public transport instead of riding everywhere. So, his contribution to this conversation - are you ready to hear about this? - was to talk about how he was once on a train and a bloke sitting opposite was picking his nose and eating it, and BSD eventually said to the train man, please fella stop doing that because I'm going to spew if I have to keep on seeing you do it. And I felt quite sick myself, hearing about it, and also because BSD went on to explain the other broken things he'd detected and repaired on my bicycle and I began to wonder how much all this was going to cost me in actual money on top of the psychic pain not to mention the very big and now quite black bruise on my lower belly. (It looks like a zeppelin. I would show you it but I think I'm a bit shy: 2019 really is going to be a year of new experiences.) So he told me all that and we walked over to the cash register and he sat down behind it and said 'cash or card?' and this look of faraway yet intense concentration settled itself over his features, and he pressed some keys on the eftpos terminal and passed it to me.

and it said $50.00

And I was too stunned to speak so I tapped my phone before he could change his mind, said thanks once more, and got out of there. I was so astonished that I actually thought, this is an omen, the next thing that the universe presents to me will be a portal and I must walk through it into the sunlit realm of a new world. Then my eye fell upon this


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