“If I leave the house at 06:37am, I’ll be in the door ready for handover by 06:57am”.
– A thought I took for granted and miss oh, so much!
Never take for granted driving in the country – its one of my top rated joys in life nowadays. Its the greatest juxtaposition taking my beloved Subaru Outback, well, out of the outback. But she’s serving me well, we’re practically besties.
When I told friends and family back home I was off to Sydney, a typical reply would involve a sharp inhale, and an assumption about the traffic, and how insane I was. Let’s just stop here for a moment – traffic. The damn traffic. I was happily ignorant towards this whole phenomenon of ‘traffic’. I’d wave my hand and say something along the lines of “it’s fine! I’ll just catch public transport!” Yeah, I’ll pause let you have a good cackle. Ah, ignorance really is bliss.
Even when I manage to not screw up my transit getting to work (you can find that storytime in a previous post), it still takes 7294947296.7 (40)minutes on the bus to get to work, the whole 11km. That was a novelty at first. I was so excited about all this spare time I’d have on the bus! I could catch up on messages, read, podcasts, anything! Hahahaha…. yea I know, that novelty wore off quick! I don’t even bring headphones anymore, I just sit here glaring out the window at the traffic wondering where they’re going, why, and why everyone can’t just stay at home so I can get to work and home much quicker. You see back at home in the country, 11km would take you max 10 minutes if you were driving through town, with ‘traffic’ adding maybe 40 seconds if Nonna and her Nonna friends all decide to go to Bertoldos to buy their scotch bread at the same time. Or, Aunt Hazel with her sore leg crosses the road slow enough you actually have to stop at the pedestrian crossing. You get my gist – there is no ‘traffic’. I must say though, its not all doom and gloom. For being such an aggressive city on the roads, the commuters who catch buses are an absolute delight. I was blown away, the majority greet the bus driver, and thank them as they hop off. It reminded me of primary school, the personal touch. Its one of my few favourite things about buses now, the bus drivers get such a kick out of greeting the commuters back, its almost like a good deed done for the day.
Okay so that’s the issue of just too many cars playing on the road, I’ll get back to that.
Secondly, traffic lights. We’re already having to bottle neck onto the Spit Bridge going from 3 lanes to 1, damn traffic light, you better at least stay green! But of course he doesn’t, he turns orange and gives me a mad stress attack every time. I still haven’t worked out the magic one needs to work out if you keep going through the orange or stop – I either fang it like my life depends on it, or slam on the breaks and scare Aunt Hazel in the car behind me – sorry dear. There’s also traffic lights for what feels like every couple of meters, so it’s a meltdown constantly if I am driving – I guess that’s definitely a perk of public transport, I leave the meltdowns to the bus driver! OH, THE BUS DRIVERS. On that note, they’re RUTHLESS. As a passenger, you get where you wanna go without somehow getting stuck in traffic despite being a MONSTERTRUCK on the roads, but as an innocent car on the road? Oh my word. If that bus driver indicates, you better make sure you let him merge otherwise you’ll be roadkill. Buses are bigger than you, I’ve learnt to just get out of their way.
Now going back to too many cars playing on the road, apparently it’s not buses who think they have right of way, any car that indicates apparently does too.
A couple weeks ago I was headed south of the bridge to Randwick to catch up with a good mate. There was a car just in front of me to the left, who indicated to go into my lane. Sorry mate, I’m too close to you. So I passed them, and they’ve merged in behind me – or at least attempted to, but old mate behind me wasn’t going to have a bar of it! In my rear view mirror I’m watching what looked like two bumper cars as they collided and bounced off each other. From that moment, I came to realise indicators aren’t a well mannered favor to be let in like in the country. It was now safer to assume all indicators are aggressive in nature – it’s safer this way.
One thing I’m truly thankful for is an inbuilt GPS in my car. For whoever knows me, knows I have pretty much no sense of direction. I’ve been known to screw up the most simplest of directions, and could probably nail getting lost in my own hometown. Up until recently, whenever I went anywhere in my car, the GPS has to be programmed. As long as I know where I’m going, I can deal with the unpredictable (yet predictably outrageous) Sydney traffic. However! By some miracle, I left my north Sydney home on the weekend, drove back home, and then back again to Sydney all without my GPS. I mean, we went for some accidental sight seeing in Hurstville, but that just made it an adventure, right? Not entirely sure why it was so important I didn’t use a GPS, but I felt the need to prove it to myself that there is a compass in my brain that actually functions! So stick that in your pipe and smoke it Dad, your determination has leaked into me to be determined to prove you wrong – I have a sense of direction, 24 Years later. Even if I’m a hot mess at every step of the way.