Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Public Transport Diaries: Day 6

I caught a bus into the city today to meet Dr H so we could see The Libertine. If you weren’t going to see this film anyway—are there people who don’t see every film that Johnny Depp stars in?—I recommend that you do. It is wonderful on every level, from the very first grainy frame. Even John Malkovich rises above, well, being John Malkovich for the first time in a long time.

On the way home, I’m reminded of the Bledisloe Cup between Australia and New Zealand being held at the local Stadium tonight. There’s a taxi on the road beside the bus with a man sitting on the frame of its back door window. His body is half out of the car. He is gesticulating and yelling—god knows what—at people in the taxi next to his, as well as others passing on the street, who are dressed to mark their team loyalties. Is it wrong to wish that he’d fall out of the taxi and onto the road?

It’s at times like this that I find my misanthropic tendencies rise to the fore. As the bus turns into Caxton Street, I can see that the bars are already crammed with jersey-wearing drinkers. A series of photocopied signs outside one bar warns its patrons that they shouldn’t take their drinks beyond the partitions that have been set up. It would be nice if that happened, but it’s not likely. The patrons will, as is their usual practice on these evenings, carry their drinks to every street, side-walk, domestic garden and public park in the surrounding area, where they will leave the glasses and bottles to pollute the environment for weeks and months to come. For good measure they’ll urinate in any convenient alcove.

Maybe no-one will be raped.

Already people are wandering aimlessly onto the roads, and the congested traffic is signalling its impatience. The streets will close later on to ensure the safety of the crowd when it departs the stadium en masse. Meanwhile, the dull roar of inter-Tasman rivalries rises and engulfs Suncorp’s neighbours hiding in their sleepy Queensland homes.

At 1.45 on Sunday morning, I was woken by a scream and some crying. I listened and listened, then heard some soothing, competent voices.

At 7.30 on Sunday morning, a car was parked on the easement driveway outside my gate, blocking access to three other properties. A parking infringement officer had placed a ticket under the car’s windscreen wiper.

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