Archive for June, 2006


Connex Revenue Protection Officers

I travelled into the city by train the other day. I like public transport. I like to be amongst people. I like not being stuck in traffic. I like being able to read, listen to music or just watch other people.

The carriage I was on had a group of Asian teenagers – possibly students – taking up all 10 seats across the breadth of the carriage. I went to the next row of seats which was completely empty except for an African teenager dressed up in LA Lakers gear. Geez he was tall! I like my city and its people… most of them!

A couple of stops into the trip 5 or 6 Connex ticket inspectors entered at the front of the carriage. Two remained at the front – presumably to keep an eye for people doing a “runner” – and the others fanned out down the carriage. “Please have your tickets available for inspection”. Great!

They wear long coats and carry little note books. They flash impressive badges like hollywood policemen. I wish somebody could nab me one of those (a badge not a policeman).

The African guy next to me couldn’t find his ticket or at least he put on a good show of not finding it. Luckily for him the inspector saw the Asian teenagers passing around tickets and left to “inspect” them and didn’t return. She made a big show of hassling them and then letting them off with a warning.

I suppose people really should pay for tickets. But why does it always seem to be adult inspectors terrorising, and possibly fining, minors for the cost of a $5 ticket.


London and New York (and getting home!)

Well we had sort of finished our travels really, but while we were out and about we thought we’d “drop in” to London and New York to catch up with some old friends.

It was fabulous to stay with our gracious hosts Andy and Suzannanh and meet their 11 month old boy, James. Of course our first 24 hours in London started with 3 bottles of Rose, a Curry, 5 pints of Guiness (me, Craig) and a late night Kebab. What do you expect?! It was good to see all our old haunts, some old work colleagues (thanks for those of you who came out), and also Ross and Yi. It poured one day and we got soaked (first drenching of trip) which gave us both colds which we are still trying to shake.

Our trip to New york was a similar affair, staying with my younger brother Andrew and hanging out with his house mates and friends. Didn’t do much touristy stuff as we were a bit tired of that sort of thing and had been to NYC before. Seemed to spend a lot of time in Central Park! We also got to catch up with Anna (or Ania) which was nice. But these sorts of meetings are always to short and we wish the world was smaller of planes quicker or something so we could do this more often.

Our trip home was a bit of a debacle (thanks United!). In Summary, we had 3 flight trip home from New York (NYC-LA-Sydney-Melbourne). Our first flight was diverted to Chicago when three circuit breakers “popped” on take off. The ground crew and pilot had a quite a noticeable disagreement with the pilot walking off to find a new plane and the customer service person telling us the same plane would be used again. Tony Danza was on board as well! Could it get any worse? Well we got a new plane in the end which got us to LA late so we missed our connection which meant a 24 hour delay. United put us up in LA for a night. As we were going to bed, 5 gun shots went off in the street below. Anna checked from our window. It didn’t look promising for the shootee.

With a day to spend in LA we went to Universal which was fun and highly recommended (see photos).

We boarded the plane to Sydney that night and it had to taxi back to the gate when an “indicator on a controller” (whatever) failed. This was replaced and we took off. The flight was pretty smooth and we slept a bit. Upon attemping to land in Sydney our plane pulled out of the landing because of a failed flap. The pilot told us that he had not enough time to activate the back-up so we circled again and then landed. Our connection flight to Melbourne was then delayed a few hours because of fog in Melbourne (can’t blame United for that one). In any case, I’m glad I have an extra day off to recover. Enjoy the photos…

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