Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kids Today. *rolls eyes*

I would like to apologise here and now to any interstate visitors coming out for Nationals who have to travel on the Melbourne train network to get to accomodation/the competition venue.

The Melbourne train network, overseen and operated by the much detested company Connex (with help from Siemens) is one of the worst in the world, I must say. Many of the trains on the system are outdated and in some cases, rather dilapidated. Poor timetabling results in constant over-crowding, particularly in pre and post-work peak hours. Many don't run on time (or at all on some lines) and often no genuine excuse or compensation is given for passenger inconvenience.

Oh, and the security on board is practically non-existent.
Case in point - my night out last night.
Basically, it got ruined by some passengers in my carriage.

I boarded in the city with Mr Mez, after a movie and drinks. Much fun was had. It's a good 45 minutes from the city to my station and it was the second-last train of the night, so in heading OUT of the city before midnight on a Saturday, we settled in for what we assumed would be a subdued ride. A few stations after we boarded, on wobbled a dozen drunk teens (I took them for at least three or four years younger than myself) with pizza boxes and spirit bottles in tow. They swore, they shouted at the tops of their voices, they tossed pizza bits around and didn't hesitate to throw about the most misogynistic terms I've ever heard. The girls in the group (plastic-looking makeup, Country Road bags, chewing gum, blank-faced phone texting, you know the type) just encouraged the boys. Their behaviour wouldn't abate despite the fact that they were drawing get-off-and-go-back-to-BoganLand-where-you-belong stares from all and sundry. They crowded quite close to where we were sitting and it took every ounce of my strength not to stick out my boot and trip the disgusting ring leader up.

Anyway, we got to my station (I learned that they were alighting two stops after ours) and after nearly an hour of fist-clenching-and-unclenching and heavy exhaling that would put Bruce Banner's transformation into The Incredible Hulk to shame, we stood up to get off. I had to say something. Somebody had to. As the scrawny, spotty ringleader draped himself across the carriage door handles in an attempt to act as a self-congratulating door valet, I looked him in the face and politely said, "Mate? People are just trying to get home. Keep it down, ok?"

He smirked and slurred, "Yeah, ok, yeah" but as we got off and headed down the platform, I heard a chorus of "B*tch!" and "Sl*t!" from his friends ring out behind my back. Jerks.

I hope that come May (or any other time of the year, really) nobody has to experience what I did. Nobody in the world has the right to make another person feel unsafe or uncomfortable on their familiar route home.



Anonymous said...

worst thing about connex is that when i was in stockholm last time, connex ran the train system there.

trains are never late in stockholm. never.

mistysakura said...

Total agreement. Train station security isn't so crash hot either; my friend got elbowed in the eye by a random passerby at Frankston. I still wish our suburb had trains though. On a semi-gym-related note, if anyone's interstate and coming for nationals, take tram 48 or 75 from the city from Flinders St, or the train to Richmond station, and walk in the direction of the shiny arenas. :) By the way, if you read the Age, didn't you hate it how they were juxtaposing Alina Kabaeva's rumored relationship and her flexibility?

mistysakura said...

Above: I meant tram 70.

Mez said...

Yeah, I read all that.

They bleat on and on about how gymnastics is a 'breeding ground' for inappropriate conduct between adults and children, and then they go to town with Kabaeva and her reputation as an athlete/contortionist.

Nicky said...

Its also like that in Sydney. I think nasty little so-and-sos are everywhere and show up on random nights. At least Melbourne has public transport. Im currently living in San Diego and there just isn't any. A 20 minute car trip, by bus can take 2 hours and three bus changes. No trains and the busses are filled with scary people, you cant even change carriages!

Anonymous said...

Um... sorry, can't be sympathetic. I live in Auckland - spread over a huge area and public transport is rubbish. I was in Melbourne for the 2005 World Champs. It was like a breath of fresh air. Light years ahead of what we've got here.