Friday, July 28, 2006

The Public Transport Diaries: Day 4

Caught bus from home to city with the intention of doing two things before heading to the University: secure a discount pass to the film festival, and fill a prescription. The BIFF office hadn't opened for the day and I brought the wrong prescription with me (I know! I'm a regular walking pharmacy.)

On the way to the University bus stop, I was asked how I felt about the environment by a Greenpeace marketer. How are you supposed to reply to that question? I just smiled and kept walking. Whenever I encounter charity marketers these days, I think of the Lenny Henry sketch, where the character only signs up to donate because if he gets past the first marketer, he's certainly not going to get past the scrum of others waiting to accost him further along on the footpath. On that train of thought, I recall a whole host of hilarious sketches and characters by Henry, including the old man who runs the convenience store, and the pirate radio announcer who broadcasts from her kitchen table, speaking a mile a minute and improvising her own sound effects and jingles. Hahahahaha.

Of course, I care about the environment, but I can only contribute to one charity on any kind of regular basis.

Help Protect Cape York

I managed to board a Rocket bus and, lo and behold, it filled up. I don't have to be concerned about the well-being of the Express passengers stranded at their stops en route to the University, at least not on account of the bus driver not doing the right thing. I almost feel warm and fuzzy, but that could be due to the close proximity of the person sitting next to me, combined with sleep deprivation.

It’s actually raining when I leave in the evening, after yet another Georgina Born presentation. I’m not sure if she’s tired, but I think my iron deficiency is catching up with me. The rain is all well and good for the drought situation, but my newly purchased book is getting wet.

What is it with those people who can’t organise themselves to buy discount tickets, so everyone can board the bus as quickly as possible? While the rest of us cool our heels in inclement weather, they search, apparently fruitlessly, through their bags and pockets for their student IDs to show to the bus driver, and so justify the concession ticket they’ve asked for—all the while blocking the passage of fellow travellers onto the bus.

When I get on the bus and show the driver my monthly ticket, conveniently displayed in a small plastic folder along with my student ID, the driver grins at me and says, ‘Thanks, Lovey’. Heh. Lovey. I had a friend who used to call me that. It always made me laugh.

Another woman disembarks, along with me, at my bus stop. It’s unusual for another person to get off the same bus stop and also walk practically the same way home as me. It’s kind of reassuring; we’re sort of each other’s company in the dark. I can see from her body language that she’s taking as much care to be aware of her environment as I generally do. She goes into a house that is not too far from my own.


Lucy said...

my little brother was one of those greenpeace people for a bit, but he found it just as unpleasant to be on the other end of the ambush.

Galaxy said...

I think my problem is I just feel guilty about saying no to them. I'm not even Catholic or Jewish. I admire them in many ways--if you're going to be a marketer, it must be better to do it for charity. Still, wouldn't want to be the Wilderness Society Koala. People were really mean to them.

Lucy said...

I actually gave in and signed up for their "student rate" donation plan once, but it was somewhat of a relief to leave the country and have an excuse for cancelling it. Although, I actually know someone here who signed up on a short trip to Australia who paid the exchange fees on top of the automatic payments for a couple of years.