The ugly head of CityRail was reared once again today. Between the possibility of drowning simply by walking in the rain and winds as fast as a bogan on Dole Day, CityRail managed to remain faithful to their “Elderly Driver Policy” for rainy days.
Now look, I’m (supposedly, though I’ll deny it) a somewhat educated person who knows that:
(wet tracks) + (breaking train) = (longer it takes to stop)
Thus, admittedly, I’d be expecting trains to be somewhat late. And when I say “somewhat” I mean 5 minutes, give or take to 7 minutes at the most.
Wait! That’s what I would have expected 14 years ago, when I was still a kid, didn’t know any better, and, in all reality, hadn’t used the good ol’ trains extensively, or in the rain. But after the first experience, this is now the formula I have some to suspect that CityRail use:
(wet tracks) + (breaking trains) = (longer it takes to stop) = (begin breaking two suburbs away)
Upon arriving at Central Station, I watched, honestly, as the monitor display hanging from the roof said that the next train I intended to catch went front 16 minutes until arrival to 12, to 20, to 32, to 16 again, then came to a stop at 26. This happened between me stepping onto the platform and walking to the other end; hardly a lengthy distance.
However, this is far from the only problem. As the train that was to arrive after the train I was intending to catch was, actually, arriving in 16 minutes. Pondered, did I, about why that train would be arriving before the, supposed, next train. Then, not to my amazement, the third train in the list was to arrive before the first two! My shoulders slumped, my brain slowed ….. slowed ….. stopped. It was going to be one of those CityRail days was it?
What could possibly happen next? Well, I brought a Coke, because, of course, they were out of Vanilla Coke, returned to position where, once again, the “arrival times” had been changed again. Now the second train in the list was to arrive first, then the third, then the first. I had given up all hope of getting home while Global Warming prevailed and contemplated traveling to my grandparents to bum a ride from them.
Yet, what was left to tamper with that hadn’t already been messed around with? Stopping pattern. My train, the (formerly 26 minutes, no) 28 minutes till arrival train now was stopping all stations half way down my line and (as I assumed) would cease to exist as a physical entity. Lo how I was dismayed as I now had no idea when a new train would arrive, what time, what its stopping pattern would be. But by that point I didn’t care. I had reserved myself to the frame of mind “when your train comes, it comes”. Other than that, what could I do? Imagine abusing some poor CityRail staff member (as imaging is as close as I would probably come)? Get on a train that wasn’t actually going anywhere near to where I wanted to go?
Thus I contented myself with annoying random persons on the train. There was a Mediterranean man doing laps around the booth/store that is on the train, counting his worry-beads. He caught my attention after his first lap, whereby he rudely and inexcusably shoulder blocked me (it was more of a brush by, but with enough ‘force’ to warrant an apology in my mind). I made it my mission to then block his ‘track’; stepping rather near to some tourist who, no doubt, was headed to one of the airport terminals. However, not close enough, as he managed to sneak through. So I stepped closer, and the next time he came by, there was no way he was getting through. He went around, but it was a victory for the little man (albeit I probably stood a full two feet above this man).
Next was how I was appalled at how lots (excess of ten) of little ‘Asian’ women (alas I have to categorise in such as way as I was unable to attain any answers of true nationality, and by oath they all had the ‘oriental’ look) would rudely and, again, unapologetic-ly, crash into this poor girl (likely a year or two younger than I), who, alarmingly, was already standing near to the platform’s edge. Abandoning my intent to cause further worry to Mr. Worry-beads, I then decided to stand in some awkward position so that if any more Kamikaze Ladies felt the need to crash into this poor girl, then they would also be crashing into me. Now, anyone who knows me probably knows I am one of the least imposing persons in Sydney. However, from three and a half feet from the ground, I probably look like I could slap someone pretty darn good. One little lady tried her luck, shoved the girl, got caught up in my (quite full) bag and jacket and got a good glare from your’s truly and, as she murmured something, either inaudible or non-English, and tried to continue on. I leaned down to her, in an effort to, once again, do my daily good and stand up for the oppressed, and said “No need to apologise I don’t carry anything too important”. She looked to me and continued on her way as I stood tall, crossed my arms with a smirk and a slight shake of the head (probably similar to everyone’s favourite Treasurer).
I came to blame many things for my (then) state of agitation:
– CityRail for screwing up my trains in the morning
– CityRail for screwing up my trains of an afternoon
– Terrorists for diverting much-needed resources from public infrastructure to defense
– Mankind for Global Warming
– God for the weather
– Me for being an ass all the time
Do note that this list is not complete as I intend to blame more people for my own shortcomings.
What worries me more, more than the CityRail incompetencies, more than the lack of respect shown by others, for others, in public, more than the crazy weather, is that I remember that short half an hour at Central station and yet I can’t remember a single thing I am supposed to have ‘learned’ at University the rest of the day prior. Quite sad really.