I haven’t been on a train in Australia since 1996, when I had to go to the big smoke and was too chicken to drive into the city of Brisbane. Something I used to do daily in my younger years, but living out in the ‘sticks’ kind of makes you city shy.
It took us at least half an hour to cross the main road by car. We eventually parked in an underground car park next to the station. Susan and Jim insisted (almost fought for the right) on dragging our suitcases and we followed closely with our small bags. In those days we used to travel heavy.
The main doors of the station were closed, so we congregated outside with the local crowd of commuters. Hundreds and hundreds of them, probably thousands. We stood crammed under the moonlight...or did we? Stray and I stared upwards, which was the only direction that had an unobscured view. Stray said ‘hey...there aren’t any stars!’, or moon for that matter. I agreed. Susan and Jim stared upwards also, but didn’t enquire what we were looking at. A Beijingese lady nearby looked to the heavens with us and we said...'look, no stars’ and she just smiled and nodded as though we were complete morons.
I suppose the massive amount of city lights, combined with the hideous amount of pollution wipes out any chance of seeing those little jewels in the sky. The doors open and a sea of people started heading, stampeding, crushing towards the opening. UNDERSTAND....at this point there is no room to move. If you don’t know where you are going....find out VERY SOON. Luckily our trusty guides are guiding us.
I’m lucky he’s averagely tall and blonde..spottable in a sea of short dark haired people.
I am feeling REALLY unwell and he checks on me to see if I am OK. The doors finally bloody open. Susan and Jim diligently trot down the side of the train past food stands loaded up with strange and sometimes, odorous morsels, to find our carriage and cabin. We say thank you and farewell and give them tokens of our appreciation.