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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Photographer. Writer. 45yo Indo-Fijian Australian. Glam Feminist. Coconuts.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

re: Public Queen...

"... Gunpowder, gelatine.... Dynamite with a laser beam...Guaranteed to blow your mind. Anytime."  - "Killer Queen" Freddie Mercury. Queen.

In no way am I suggesting I am 'queenly' (although I can be a royal pain in the ass) ... just that when I got on the bus on my way to my friend's birthday dinner, the driver said to me, "are you sure you're in the right place?  You look like a queen and you should be in a limo."
...which I thought was really sweet and it amused me greatly. 

It amuses me that (some of my superficial) friends and colleagues are 'horrified' or bemused that I take the bus.  
Now when I say the bus I do mean an express bus that takes me straight to where I need to get to, no stops.  And the Sydney bus system has not failed me so far.  I'm not a fan of trains.  Too many stops and starts. Unless we're talking about the Orient Express but even then... I think it's more the idea than the reality that is the allure.
...but I quite like the idea of a bus and the reality too. 

 I take public transport because I am trying to put my money where my carbon footprint is. 

I cannot, simply cannot be that person who carries on and on about saving the world from my gilded sofa.  If I feel reaction to something than I will act on it. 
...and I have 'converted' many people to this reaction/action way of being.  I have good people in my life.  Great people.  They make me better by association.  But that's another post...

I love driving.  I love cars and anything mechanical.  I have been driving since I was 15.  Knowing how to drive well and driving well a beautiful machine is one of life's material pleasures. I drive 2 very luxurious cars (although I don't understand why I need to divulge that. Ego maybe? hmmm... ) but Sydney city traffic is at all times now, at best like this and at worst, like this.
I no longer want to be one of those people sitting in a bubble contributing to this madness.  Sydney roads have exclusive bus lanes which means that it's pretty much smooth sailing but more than that, bus travelers mean less cars on the road. 

[By the way, I don't believe in the Carbon Tax that is the talk of our political arena.  I believe this is not going to help lower anything... it's not a solution, it's a veil... but that's another post...]

...and in regards to the economy side of things... I would much rather spend my money on worthy things like shoes and charity and food and symphonies and good times and cerebral pursuits and physical pleasures and opshopping (list is not in order!) than my fuel tanks...although one car is fuel efficient and surprisingly economical, the other is a thirsty beast and it is now less painful to get a bikini wax on sunburnt skin than to fill ones fuel tank...  

And taxis. I don't live far from the city but a taxi ride costs about AUD100. If I took taxis everywhere (substitued my driving and my bus travels), I would spend, on average AUD1,000 a week.  WOW.  And a taxi is still a car and not a multi people mover. 

I have heard people say they "don't do public transport".  That's nice.  I hope you do something to make the world a better place.  May I suggest not speaking?

Let me admit, lest I be accused of sanctimonious hypocrisy (and maybe that's why I divulged the cars I drive?)... that I have had access to a chauffeur/driver throughout my life, the countries I have lived in, the life I have led and live... sometimes it is a neccessity (have you tried driving in Jakarta???), at all times a luxury.. and this is what I said to bus driver... that it was a luxury to be driven, saving money is always the right place and that even a queen will do anything to help the majestic world she lives in. 

 I have written this post in a rush because as always, it's backdated and I'm trying to get a million things done!  I may not have put my point across as well as I would have liked to... I hope don't come across as smug and sanctimonious.  Or preachy.  eeek.  I know I do sound preachy at times. 


Leia said...

I like the 'idea' of public transport. Really, I do. But after 4 years of using buses and trains to go everywhere I needed to go in London, I embrace the luxury of being in a car. Also, if public transport were clean (no sticky gum on the seats), efficient (got me where I wanted to go on TIME, rather than with multiple delays like I had to endure so often), and I wasn't afraid for my possessions (I can't tell you how many times I've almost had things stolen - and once I actually didn't manage to stop it from happening because it was a packed bus and I couldn't move)... then I would happily take public transport. I am only basing my opinions on the experiences I had in London. I would happily put time and energy and effort into *improving* public transport because I think it has the potential to be great!


Elle Enchanted said...

You look absolutely stunning as usual Dusk. Re: public transportation- I lived in NYC for the majority of my life, and I miss having a reliable public transit system. As much as the bus and trains annoyed me (the overcrowded, overpriced, often delays/ shady characters) I embrace the idea behind them and enjoyed it- I especially appreciate it more now that I live in a place without transit (12 miles to the nearest bus and it goes no where useful!) and I am in a family of 3 with 1 car and busy schedules (my dad has 3 jobs, my sis has a full time nanny position)- it would definitely help to be able to jump on the bus. I loved the ease of it in NY- I took a bus and train to school and back everyday. I definitely feel public transit should be the future- I especially can't wait for efficient light rails like in Europe. It's a long way off in America but I know that will cut down on traffic and travel time immensely. And as hassled as it was- in NY my family went without a car from Oct 99- May 2003 and we managed just fine- went to malls, restaurants, grocery stores, etc by walking, taking the bus, and taking the train. And to this day I know those routes by heart.

Polka Princess said...

Oh! I "do" public transport almost all the time.......even though I've got a car on which I'm still paying the EMIs with my own hard-earned money!!! I mean....what's the big deal in using transportation that is meant to be used by all & sundry? In fact, I sometimes find it easier to go somewhere by bus or the tube rather than take the hassle of taking my car through all this traffic AND then find a place to park it once I reach! Phew!!

P.S.: That bus driver couldn't be more right, though! :)

P.P.S.: I'm so digging that gorgeous ring! :))

Veshoevius said...

You do look regal! And you're right "even a queen will do anything to help the majestic world she lives in" what a wonderful thought to take away. Marvellous post! I have been biking or on public transport since I moved to the UK more than a decade ago and when I go back to Oz it now amazes me to see family and friend jump in the car to go around the corner rather than just walk!

Terri said...

First, I love the bolo tie. And I agree with the bus driver, you do look like a queen. Increasingly, when I am a passenger or driving my little sports car, I find myself pondering the sheer arrogance of driving...the impact of it on pedestrians.

La Dama said...

You do look like some sort of Queen amor, I love your stare,so demure.
I hate publc transport myself.