From time to time we all complain about work and even more frequently about our commutes. As the summer hype dies down and we knuckle back down for a solid year of work I have been reflecting on my commute every morning and I’ve realised just how nice it is – especially when the following things happen:
1. Hot bread at Ashfield
Some mornings I have to skip breakfast because we have run out of milk or bread. It’s pretty lame, because breakfast is the most important meal of the day! On these mornings, I try to get to the bakery at Ashfield on Liverpool road. Sometimes they will run out the back to get some bread straight out of the oven for me, and I will take it with me on the train, with the bread warming my hands through the paper bag.
2. Campbelltown Trains
If you know Sydney, you might be confused about why I am getting excited about a train that goes to a suburb that not many people appreciate. But I appreciate the Campbelltown morning train. If I get to catch one of these trains in the morning, I can sit uninterrupted for the longest period of time and get a good chunk of reading or stitching time in a mostly empty carriage. Win!
3. Arthur Phillip High Students
Again, if you know Sydney well (especially the west), you might be confused about why I am getting excited about ratty public high school kids. They are ratty but they are also:
– Amusing (they think they are way tougher than they actually are.)
– Genuine (for better or worse, they are much more open with each other than PLC girls – see below.)
– Occasionally Courteous (especially when they hold the train doors open for me at Granville when I am hecticly running between platforms.)
4. St John’s Church
On the final stretch, I walk past St John’s Greek Orthodox church. Some mornings it is open for special festivals and saints days and I watch the elderly Greeks walk in, light their candles, kiss their icons and settle in the pews as the priests chant away. It makes me nostalgic.
Of course, some things can make the commute terrible:
1. Jehovahs Witness people at Ashfield
They stand there handing out copies of the Watchtower and everytime I walk past I want to scream out “STOP LEADING PEOPLE ASTRAY!”. But I haven’t had the courage yet. Also, I don’t know if that is sensible.
2. Missing the train
Especially if it is a Campbelltown train.
3. Private School Girls
They are supposed to be better behaved than the Arthur Phillip High kids. And they are. They sit there with their uniforms ironed and their hats perched on their heads and they don’t smoke and they don’t swear loudly. But I have often sat behind them and overheard the nastiest things. They carefully craft and polish their insults and hide them behind sweet and polite words or subtle gestures. These girls have made bullying an art. I usually get off those trains feeling depressed.