Friday, March 23, 2007

Why I write?

Jason, DSD and KO were right to whinge about Sydney's Cityrail. My grandad emailed me this week to tell me about this article. A study commissioned by Cityrail (carried out by experts from HK) has found Cityrail to be the worst rail service in any major city in the world. I won't say what the rest of his email was about but if I don't mention George Bush, John Howard or Iraq for some time you will know why.

I'm so glad that my grandparents (in Sydney and the UK) have been my most dedicated blog readers. When I left Australia in 2003 I started blogging so that friends and family could keep up with my life. I didn't want to be as bad a communicator as I was when I did a gap year in Hong Kong in 98. I arrived back in Sydney to start uni in 99 and friends found it strange that I wasn't the same person they remembered.

Committing to a blog seemed a sensible way to get around my being such an unreliable communicator. I know it's not very personal but it at least allows the people who are interested in me to know what I'm up to. And the comments function means that blogging has the huge advantage of allowing multilogue (yes i did a masters in applied linguistics) rather than the usual 2 person dialogue you have by email.

It's now been over three years since I left Australia for Hong Kong and a year and a half since I left Hong Kong for London. I've left some very important people in both places and some of those have now scattered to various other countries. On top of that, I've changed more over the last few years than I did during that first gap year in Hong Kong.

Very few of my old friends are as committed to reading my blog as my grandparents are. I know that having a blog isn't an excuse to be lazy on email and the telephone. But is it arrogant to assume that people who care about me will read this?


j a s o n said...

I used CityRail intensively during my High School years, and I must say it was great then.

Except for the ticketing...

Trains were relatively reliable.

The anxiety and stress related to UK rail travel (in my experience) is in NO WAY comparitive.

This weekend - my London > Edinburgh train was delayed for 30mins.

The Edinburgh > London train was delayed for 60mins midway. The Buffet car had a fire, and we had to detrain at Berwick, only to get back on 20mins later when the next train failed to open its doors for us.

Then we had to again get off the train further south and find remaining seats on the next service.

I actually lost it this time when the communicating door for the luggage storage wouldnt open properly for me...a rare tantrum insued...My patience has been built up so well. I felt angry at myself for letting go.

I've had enough of the "tin pot country" problems in the UK, as one fellow English traveller put it. I cant wait to leave it

It's just a PATHETIC place for Rail transport...

Joe said...

Haha... I've learnt from experience that going anywhere by train on Sundays is to be avoided at all costs. I had a couple of experiences where the 2.5 hour trip from Birmingham took over 5 hours.

Once all the toilets on the trains were out of order and we had to stop for 10+ mins at each station for people to do their business.

Congratulations on getting even grumpier than me, it makes me feel much better :)

j a s o n said...

I have been here longer than you, lived further away, and had worse luck.

I would win a medal for being Grumpy in England.

I have been known to say "I hate London."