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Beyond Pandora

Beyond simple curiosity, this is Thinking Too Much. If you're interested in philosophy and/or wild theories, you've come to the right place.

Location: Australia

Paddling somewhere between a mad scientist and an organisational artist. Indecisive, inconsistent and often incoherent.

Saturday, April 23, 2005


(written a while ago)
I have no luck with transport.

Every time I've tried to catch a ferry, I've ended up going the wrong way down the river - and usually not realising until the last stop.

On the first day of university, I missed the bus and had to walk. 20 minutes or so along a highway, and then 10 minutes of solid UP. Somehow I managed to get to the lecture on time.

After a particularly draining day, I hopped on the bus home... when my mind came back to reality, it was to realise that I'd just missed both the stops closest to my house, and had to take the quarter-hour walk back the way I'd come.

Recently I needed to catch a train home from Cleveland at about 9pm, switching to the Beenleigh line at Park Road. What actually happened was I spent an hour doing nothing on the Cleveland train, got off at Park Road and waited twenty minutes or so, then boarded the next train - only to realise it was the train back to cleveland. I got off at the very next stop, had to wait ten minutes for the next train back from Beenleigh, and then, back at Park Road, found that I'd missed the train to Beenleigh and so had to wait another twenty minutes for the next train. Which I did manage to catch. Of course, there is also the fifteen-twenty minute walk from the station to my house...

Last week I needed to get into the city, and after taking some unexpected turns I realised I had mistaken the last number of the bus route, and I was headed to the valley. I got off close to the river, and then realised I should have continued on to Southbank and made the next trip from there. Instead I took a bus to Elisabeth street, hoping I'd be able to remember which way was Queen Street Mall, only to find (to my relief) that the bus stopped at the edge of Queen Street.

Just tonight I needed to get to Sunnybank Plaza to return some DVDs.
I had attempted this before, but that had been on Easter Saturday, and having been misinformed, I'd planned by the Public Holiday schedule instead of the Saturday schedule. Realising this at the bus stop, and faced with the prospect of having to wait 40 minutes, I decided to walk. I'd been there before by bus, and it hadn't taken that long, so I'd be fine.
There was a lot of false assumptions that day. For instance, I'd assumed that Sunnybank Plaza was only a suburb away. I'd assumed that it would only take half an hour at most to get there. I'd assumed that I would be able to get to Sunnybank, return the DVDs, and get home, before it was time to leave home in order to get to the train station, to catch a train to Central Station, to catch a train to the airport, to catch a plane to Rockhampton for the holidays.
... Fortunately I chose the right time to give up and go back home. The DVDs would have to wait until after the holidays.

Anyway, THIS time (tonight), I boarded the right bus and got to Sunnybank just fine. I returned the DVDs, and then wandered around outside Sunnybank Plaza, gradually coming to the realisation that I had no idea how to get home. The last two times I had been here had been with my brother. We had caught buses back both times, and the bus stop had been close by a video arcade (one that was part of a larger shopping complex but you could see it from the street). I spent at least half an hour circling the shopping complex, finding that none of the bus stations named any bus routes I go by. Determined not to use my phone unless absolutely necessary, I started in the direction of home - by foot.
After perhaps a block or two, the bus stops showed a route I catch frequently, but having grounded myself in the rhythm of walking, I continued on, stopping briefly at each bus stop to check the current time against the time the next bus arrived, and deciding if I'd make it to the next stop before the bus arrived. 15 minutes... 8 minutes... 4 minutes... 2 minutes... and then I lost the gamble - the bus passed me. But by that time, if I boarded the bus, it would be dropping me off in the same street anyway.
So I'd walked 3-4 suburbs in 45 minutes to an hour, running on a small carton of milk tea I'd bought back in Sunnybank. It was nice in a way, but you'd imagine there'd be more time to think during that monotony. Instead I found myself running through various melodies over and over again. Has anyone else noticed that people sing to themselves when they're alone outside at night?
Anyway, the worst twist to the tale that night was that it turns out there is at least one DVD that hadn't been in the pile that I grabbed (the girls downstairs must still have it).
Which means another trip sometime in the future to look forward to. :)

All I can say is, it's a good thing I like walking!


Blogger Ben said...

lol, I had a number of similar incidents during uni years... worst was getting kicked off a bus in the dark in the back streets of Aspley... (end of the line, driver was going home and very angry I wanted to be dropped in a more friendly neighbourhood!)

Things may have changed, but the Mt Gravatt campus was particularly poorly serviced back in the day ... something like two buses a day. So if you get stuck there, just save the time and catch the shuttle back to Nathan campus :)

11:53 pm  
Blogger Casyn said...

What a saga! I'm sure you'll get the hang of it soon enough. Maybe I should come down and take you round all the traps again. ;-)

5:35 pm  
Blogger verbs said...

Had to laugh at the Cleveland/Park Road/Beenleigh one because almost the same thing happened to me when I first moved to Brisbane. The wait at Park Road wasn't pleasant...it is so quiet and spooky. I reckon it's haunted, and the old jail is right there on the hill.

9:53 am  
Anonymous merinda said...

hahaha i remember one night coming home from the mall with my friend on the bus in brissie. we were nattering away non stop as we do until i happened to look around at the scenery out the window. To our absoloute horror we were passing large feilds of grazing cows!!! ahhhh! thankfully we had a nice driver who took pity on us and went out of his way to drop us back home. needless to say grandma was NOT happy...

1:43 am  
Blogger Draic said...

Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one with such problems - and seeing as I haven't been left in a situation I couldn't get out of, I'm haven't even seen the worst of the system!

Btw... I chose to submit myself to more mayhem when I booked a flight to Rocky on a Saturday at 6am. I hadn't realised at the time that standard methods of transport would have been cut off by that time, and so at 2am I found myself waiting for the last train into the city (scheduled for 1am). As luck would have it, it was just very delayed, so I made it into the city, grabbed a cab, found out the psychoticness of taxi drivers when they have the roads to themselves, and arrived at the airport at 3am. Between 3am and 6am, I'd walked from one end of the foyer to the other, taken many photographs (of the roof, the fluro orange queue barriers, and a tiny bird that flew in from the depths of the foyer), and discovered coffee!

8:30 pm  

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