Monday, 21 November 2011

Good Karma Prevails!

I have never been one for a lot of train travel. Growing up, we didn't live on the train line (which constituted being a 'westie' living on Sydney's North Shore), I went  to school by bus.
Had a bit of train travel going to teachers' college, till I convinced the boyfriend that it made more sense for him to get the train to work and I would drive his car (ah, young love)

Catching the train to uni

In my working life in the big smoke, I always tended to need my car for work purposes so always drove and had parking available.

Something like this - well almost that long ago!

But the other day, Sam and I, after extensive research on the rail website, hopped on a train at Bowral to head up to the city to see my eldest brother in hospital.

So, after parking at the station (and I mean, right at the station - for free!!!!) we then went to the correct platform (finally - after asking about 5 people which platform we needed - only had two to chose from so shouldn't have been that bloody hard) and then went to buy our tickets.

Now I do see myself as a fairly modern type of Mum, I know how to make the Wii work etc but coming up to an automated ticket machine for a train ticket did make me hyperventilate, just a little.

Lucky, there was a lovely man who had done this previously, and helped me. To find out that Sam and I could go to the big smoke and return for $15 for the both of us did make me get a little excited and question my lovely helper as I was worried I was going to be carried off by the ticket police for not paying enough.

I think we are going the right way, Mum!

Obviously I was a newcomer to all this as I did not arrive at the station with Sydney Morning Herald and takeaway coffee, but never mind.  And I then did take a photo of the timetable so I had it on hand with me at all times!!!! Truly!!! Here's proof!!!

So, along came the train. It was one of those Countrylink type ones, which our good friend, Michael T - who has expert knowledge on all this- told us to get. We got in our seat, and off we went. It was a very nice train, although the three nanna's sitting behind us were VERY VERY VERY loud (and they talk about young people - tut tut!!!)

Shirl, Merle and Pearl getting ready for the train!
And even though we only had 5 stations to stop at until Central, and we were on a very comfortable train, it was seriously that hot that I thought we had inadvertently got on the Indian Pacific and were travelling across the Nullarbor instead of going from The Highlands to the Big Smoke. Come on, Country Link - do we not have air conditioned trains???

Air conditioning anyone???

Never mind, we coped...just. Hopping off at Central Station, we were seriously the country hicks, looking up at all the big buildings ever so amazed at how people could actually live here (yes, yes, I know I did until 3.5 years ago but I seriously don't know how I did it).

Anyway, we were gazing about when we realised we had to go to another platform to get the inner city train to St James Station. So, whether it was divine intervention, or just bloody good karma, we managed to find the correct station just as the train was pulling in so we hoped on it, gazing once again at all the big buildings.  We were just like the country folk who only ever go into the big smoke when "The Royal' is on (I have always wanted to say that - so now is my chance!!!), wearing our Akubras and RM's!
Yes, we all look like this in the Country!!!!

We got off at St James and still gazing around a lovely young man (OMG when did I start talking like Nana?) asked us if we needed help. The fact that I said - Where the bloody hell are we (a la Lara Bingle may have been a giveaway).
Oh Lara, where the bloody hell are ya????

So we said we needed to go to that big hospital in that busy street just next to where Bazza O'Farrell has his office. And off we went at a pace that would have left Usain Bolt dead and buried. Once we had climbed the equivalent of Mt Everest in stairs - I thanked the lovely young man and then asked if he didn't happen to have a pure oxygen tank in his backpack so I could regain some type of oxygen in my lungs. And off he!
He ran very very fast!

We walked in to the hospital, asking a not so lovely older lady where we could locate my brother. Advising his name, I was then asked whether he would be in the hand hospital (do they seriously have hospitals for different body parts now???). I replied that her comment had me a little concerned as he was having an operation on his eye - she didn't think I was as funny as I obviously did!

Anyway, we finally found him and my 86 foot tall eldest nephew and spent a few hours with them which was fun (well, no, the hospital bit wasn't althogh his tales of the United Nations ward was).

Scotty, Lil Sam and Pirate Pete (aka Uncle Bob)

Then, Sam decided he had not eaten for three minutes so off we went and found the world's most expensive, and least tasteful, fish and chips.


I then managed to convince Sam that if you ever get off the train at St James Station, you can only get back on by walking through David Jones. So, after a little bit of reminiscing by me as we wandered through DJ's (ah, the time spent shopping..the money..the size 12 figure - all just mere memories) we then raced to get our train home.
Here I am doing a little bit of shopping at DJ's

And here is Sam enjoying the shopping experience

And once again, good karma prevailed...we got air conditioning on the way home!!!

So when was the last time you travelled by train???

1 comment :

  1. No trains here Lisa, but I actually had a moment yesterday where I missed travelling my public transport by night (the whole mzungu thing puts an end to any movement not in a cab here in Nairobi). Who would have thought. Great post! xx