Guest Post From Down Under

Since New York is stuck in the middle of a Frankenstorm that has put our famed transit system on ice for the foreseeable future, we feature a guest post from a happier place–Perth, Australia.

Please welcome special guest blogger Whitney Kemp Bannon, sharing tidbits from her enviable commute in Oz.

Ocean View? Yes Please!!!

I hate mornings.

I thoroughly dislike having to set my alarm and actually wake up. After cracking one eyeball open and stumbling into the shower I have to blow dry, brush teeth, clean ears and moisturize. It’s taxing.

Then I try to make my face as pretty as humanly possible with mere drugstore cosmetics, a feat in and of itself, I assure you. One of the only nice parts about having to be up at this ungodly hour (just for reference any time prior to 10 am is ungodly) is that I have a nice little ride on my bike down to the train station, mainly down hill–yay!!, then a lovely 20-minute train ride into the city.

Now I’m sure you’re all thinking… Yeah a 20-minute train ride sounds like a tremendous way to start the day, whoo hoo! Who doesn’t love taking public transport, eh? But there are two main reasons that my train ride is quite nice.

Number 1. Driving makes me angry and I’m always screaming at people within 3 minutes of getting into the car. This is usually due to the fact that drivers here in Perth, Western Australia have a strange inability to drive the speed limit (the prefer 5-10 kilometres under the speed limit) they can’t merge, use their blinkers or understand the concept of fast lane/slow lane and letting people pass them accordingly.

I find that if I drive to work instead of catching the train I often arrive at my workplace irate and ready to stab someone in the face with a fork and then I have to pay $15 for parking. Now that’s no way to be before 8:30am (see previous description of ungodly hour).

Training it is much less stressful for me and nobody gets stabbed at work–hey, it’s a win win!

Number 2 reason… every time I ride the train I get to look out over the beautiful west coast beaches and soak up a gorgeous view of the crystal clear, turquoise blue/green Indian Ocean. Not too shabby I tell ya!!! Even me, the biggest crankiest bitch on wheels non morning person in the universe, cannot help but smile when taking in a view like that! And the trains here are quite luxurious–they have upholstered seats and carpet, can you believe it!?! I mean I cannot imagine carpet lasting very long on the F train that I used to take, even some super strong, hard core, heavy duty, industrial, high traffic carpet. Between the food on the train, the homeless people, the stinky people, the occasional vomit or wee on the train, I think the carpet in a subway train car would die a slow, dirty, smelly death. Or people would cut it up and steal it–one or the other.

So here I am… The sun is shining, I’m sitting in the oh so ritzy upholstered seats covered with the Transperth logo (just like a Louis Vuitton bag but different) the ocean is sparkling like a jewel, life is good!

I suppose there is a reason number 3 that i like the train… I like to drink, and drinking and driving is frowned upon but drinking and riding the train is an A-O.K. Winner!!!

Not that it’s all sunshine and lollipops down here in Perth. We still have the dude that likes to listen to heavy metal at volume 47, which makes you wonder whether maybe he is partially deaf and can only hear it at that level or if screaming just sounds better really really loud. We also have the chick that likes to use her public transport time as a catch up with her best friend, mother or sister. I gotta tell ya, there is nothing I like more than hearing about some random’s weekend. The guy she picked up, the way his willy curved to the left and how he shaved his chest and had a 5 o’clock shadow of chest hair that felt like sandpaper and left her with a rash. I just love hearing these super interesting tidbits about strangers. I mean really, who doesn’t want to know fun intimate details about their fellow commuter?

But what I would love even more is if she would shut her face so I don’t have to hear her high pitched shrikes bleeding in through my headphones when I’m enjoying Tavares singing “Heaven Must Be Missin An Angel.” Because disco makes mornings better.

I also really love the lady that sits right next to you when there a ton of open seats on the train and then proceeds to place her purse, books, magazines and tote bag in between the two of you instead of the very completely open seat on the other side of her. Who also then asks “oh sorry are my books bumping into you?”. Lady, your freaking books aren’t bumping into me–I’m wearing your library like a goddamn dress!

We also get the smelly people, which depending on the situation can be good or bad. I especially love sitting next to the person who smells like they have just smoked a whole pack of Marlborough reds. In a closet. With no windows. And the door shut. Awesome, I always wanted to take up smoking again. Maybe next time they could just bring me their ashtray and I could lick it and that would suffice.

On the other hand, there is a lady who regularly gets on that always smells like cake–how bloody lovely is that?! She seemed to get a little bit freaked out by me smelling her hair, though, which has made things kinda weird.

This entry was posted in Bike to Work, F Train. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Guest Post From Down Under

  1. Victoria says:

    What a wonderfully, unique, interesting and humorous commentary. Whitney is a gifted, whitty writer! I would love to read more of her entertaining experiences!

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