Anyone who lives in Perth Australia can attest to the dismal qualities of the average public transport user - especially in the case of buses. For optimum revulsion, I’d advise taking the bus to the city at either 8:00AM or 11:00AM.
If you choose the former, you’ll have the dubious honour of sharing a windy cabin with a very rowdy throng of frequently-swearing tweens. They often revel in discussing crappy soap operas or who most recently got beaten up at school and why they “totally” deserved it. They especially enjoy speculating on which teacher is homosexual. I will confess however, that the low social quality exhibited on the bus I take is largely due to the presence of my old high-school: an institution that shall remain unnamed on account of my shame of having once been enrolled there. The place has a well-earned reputation for mass-producing sterling-class wankers and pregnant 17 year-olds, you see. The reactions I get when I tell people I once attended range from raucous laughter to mouths hanging agape. This year’s bunch of seniors seem especially stupid, though last year’s were unusually civilized.
Once the students disembark however, it’s mostly just constipated-looking office-types and even then you find yourself in a situation where one cacophony is exchanged for another. People sit far away from each other only to end up playing Tennis with their voices across the length of the bus. First-gen’ immigrant women bellow far too loudly over the phone in animated exotic tongues and, of course, there are those special people that feel the need to advertise their musical inclinations, playing music with their phones, Ipods ; whatever have you; at a very audible level that I would think is quite deliberate. Ironically you have those that are considerate enough use headphones, but they have the music on so loud that the whistling of the feedback just drills its way into your skull, inserting a thin tube through the fresh cavity before it pumps liquefied feaces into the space normally occupied by only your sanity. Why yes, thank you, I do-so appreciate you playing your shitty music at MAXI-FUCKING-MUM volume.
The sounds of course, are complemented by beautiful sights. Take your pick: indelible graffiti (that looks like shit anyway - it’s just tags), discarded plastic wrappers, window gougings, dehydrated bubble-gum, rotting apple cores that roll and tumble about with the shifting of the bus’ centre of gravity… you get the idea. On a good day, I find myself able to zone out and daydream as I watch the landscape fly by at forty kilometers per hour, my mind purged of all worries by the white noise of the bus’ engine. But those days are rare - very often it’s the case that there’s just far too much aboard with me to cause feelings of misanthropy for the humans I share the vehicle with.
The truly adventurous can take the 11:00AM bus, which they will almost invariably share with the worst possible kind of indigenous Australian. Now I’m doing my best not to sound racist… actually, why bother? The fact is 2/2 of my family home break-ins had a little something in common, as did the 3-4 times I was physically assaulted and/or accosted on the street on the way home from school (with weapons and sharp objects), as did every time I was hassled for money by a stranger, as did every time I saw a public exhibition of inhalant abuse… I could go on. It was just a month ago when I saw someone get kicked off for sniffing fumes out of a plastic bag.
Suffice to say, I have had a pretty thorough sampling, so fucking sue me if you think I’m racist because I find it hard to ignore a rather consistent pattern of cause and effect. Do I hold a grudge against them and campaign for mass-cleansing? No, definitely not. Do I get uncomfortable in their presence or suspicious the moment they make eye contact with me? Definitely. This isn’t a declaration of hate, or a generalisation that they are “all like that” or “all the same”. It’s simply a statement that reads “I am yet to have an encounter with an indigenous Australian that has been better than what I could describe as “unsavory”. I would say most of the run-ins could best be described as “extremely unpleasant”, actually. The one exception would be a guy I knew from School, Vance Jones, who was witty and quite the intellectual… but he was both gay and part-Afghani, so that just about says it really. Don’t look at me like that. It’s not a crime to say every x you have encountered so far has done y, despite people insisting x is capable z and y is the less common of the two.
Back on topic: the bus to the city in my neighborhood passes through an area with an unusually rich concentration of “Homeswest” houses - subsidized homes for (the ideally) poorer families in our community. The reality of course is a tad less charming. It’s often the case that the worst kind move in and turn them into filthy warrens that kill the local land value whilst increasing the crime rate. My girlfriend lives in a fairly pleasant neighborhood, but the single Homeswest house on her street basically fucks things up for everyone else. The
family herd that lives there thrives on accosting their neighbors, stealing their belongings and hurling slurs at incredulous passers-by. The fact is that all but the most exclusive and affluent of neighborhoods have Homeswest residences, as determined by the government. This of course is to reduce the possibility of “ghettoisation”. This basically means that no matter where you move in Perth, there is bound to be a douchebag nearby eying your material assets. Unsurprisingly, being on a bus that moves through a neighbourhood with so many of these houses means you’re set for less-than-favourable bus companions, and that’s exactly my situation.
As the bus nears the city and I prepare to disembark before making a mad dash for the connecting bus to Uni’, I mull upon these two thoughts.
- Why is the seat adjacent to me always the last to be occupied? Does this mean I’m the most unpleasant-looking individual on-board? Do I do anything that repulses or disgusts the fellow commuter as much as they disgust me at times?
- Why is it that whenever someone occupies this last seat; the seat adjacent to me; that they always turn sideways and give me a face-full of their arse before they sit down? Is it that hard to dock your body with the seat horizontally? Why do you rotate your entire body and present your hindquarters to me? Do I really strike commuters as they type that will smell odd, harass them or steal their shit? Maybe they are just trying to avoid eye contact, but that’s more of a Singapore thing… until they think I’m not looking, and then it’s all stares.
On second thought, maybe I do look that way. Hell I’m probably rated by the casual observer as being quite seedy and unsavory.
And I now feel like a frustrated old man who is angry at society, killing his agitation by venting it all out in a hay-making outburst. Metaphorically I guess you could say it’s Kind of like how you have a stomach ache and visit the toilet with a view to take a nice rewarding dump - the type you hope will end your belly-aching. Instead you sit on the bowl and rather than the fart you were expecting, you shart unexpectedly instead, spouting a gushing torrent of semi-viscous miasma, punctuated into a demented (though vaguely musical) staccato by the escaping gastric gasses. Well that’s how I feel right now. I came here, sat on the bowl, expected to fart (complain about Perth’s buses) and drop a log of crap and instead produced a surging torrent of shit (ended up voicing my opinions on Australia’s leading social issues). Fancy that, mental Diarrhea. I hope the puddle before you is at least vaguely stimulating :)
- Some of the people who annoy me most in life or strike me as being the most abhorent are often those that seem to feel the need to assert their heterosexuality. Aka: over-compensating - usually by being a douche.
- I haven’t personally met a gay individual I had trouble getting along with. There’s an exception, however. I imagine I’d want to punch Rosie O’Donnel in the face, even if it meant being labeled a gay-basher simply because the person I punched happened to be lesbian.
- I can’t be bothered proofreading all of this.
- 3 years ago