I’ve been using the train frequently lately to commute into town. It really is a very efficient way to travel. The train takes 20 mins max, the quickest bus is 40 mins. Cost is less too, just $3 each way. Even though it stops at every station it’s such a quick trip I’m happy to stand when its rush hour. But even then I usually get a seat. One lovely young woman even offered me her seat once. I declined and was a little surprised. Didn’t think I looked that old.
There’s the added bonus that I see the world from a new perspective as we travel past people’s backyards. For the first few rides it took me a while to adjust to the new landscape and to figure out where it fitted in relation to the roads I usually follow. Then there’s the graffiti – its everywhere. It’s amazing how daring some of the artists have been, climbing up some dangerous structures or even hanging over bridges to complete their art. It is art and I hope its never removed.
For the most part the rides are quick and comfortable but its not the place to go if you’re looking for deep meaningful conversations. Most stare blankly into space or out the window. Eye contact is avoided. A few sleep – I had to wake a couple when we reached the Britomart terminal otherwise they would have been riding home again.
Today a peculiar thing happened. The undercarriage of the carriage I was in was thumping constantly. I was quite concerned. I hadn’t experienced it before and it felt like something was going to fail. When we reached the end of the line I decided to tell the driver so she (how times have changed) could report it. She wasn’t at all concerned. Sort of brushed it off. “It’s been booked,” she said. “It’s a flat tyre”. True story. And I thought trains ran on steel wheels!
I’m assuming they blow it up again with an iron lung but I may be wrong. Do you think I should ask?