In a tradition dating back to Captain Cook cancelling a few of the big ships and forcing the convicts to emigrate to Astralia on a flotilla of kayaks, Sydney is undergoing track work. Everybody understands that to maintain such a high standard of regular ineptitude, sometimes the public transport system has to utterly shit itself, perhaps as a way to provide a juxtaposition between the crap services we usually have against literally not having any transport at all.
And today, grey, rainy and horrible, seems to be the standard kind of weather they seek for this magnitude of public work. Because the only thing better than snuggling inside with a fireplace and a glass of wine to ward off the winter chill, is to spend three hours crawling through the back streets of a suburb you’ve never heard of in a bus which smells of cabbage and ammonia, populated by thousands of babies. And also teenagers using YOLO unironically, and even worse, incorrectly. ‘Bro, sometimes you have to YOLO really hard’.
It’s like the Transport Minister actually calls up Thor and asks him when he next plans to have another giant crying skywank, and then plans track work for that day.
But this isn’t just about me having a a giant blog cry. On my awful exodus today, I think I had the pleasure of observing the nicest person in the world. Young Kiwi gentleman with a skateboard who had the misfortune of just leaving a construction job, so wearing a large reflective yellow vest. As soon as he got to the station, he was mobbed by angry commuters asking how to get to whatever godforsaken corner of Sydney they felt the need to travel to today. Instead of shrugging his shoulders and saying ‘I don’t even work here’ like I would have, if I hadn’t been safely insulated by several layers of headphones and books to discourage interaction, this gentleman calmly and patiently answered their questions to the best of his ability. Even the lady, who even after working out that he didn’t work for Cityrail, and only had a passing knowledge of Australian geography, due to being from not-Australia or as we call it now, New Zealand, still angrily asked him if every station on her route had a lift service. He was still nice to her.
But the coup d’état or whatever of niceness that came from this guy, was when an older Indian lady with very broken English, asked him how to get somewhere. He tried to explain that she needed to change from a train to a bus, and where that bus station was located. It was clear after a few minutes that she didn’t quite get it, and was quite agitated. Then he switched to Hindi – but alas, she didn’t speak Hindi either. He laughed, saying he knew a little (insert smaller Indian language here) she replied that she knew even less of that. But then he said – ‘don’t worry, I’ll take you to the bus stop.’ Which, from previous overhearing, meant that he was going to get off the train at a different station, walk this stranger all the way to a bus stop, then walk back, get on the train again, and travel back home. What a goddamn hero. I hope by some miracle this dude reads this, just to know that his extreme niceness was observed.