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The Immersionism Issue

Back Of The Tram

It's pretty cool that we have trams in Melbourne. The only other place I'm aware of that has trams is San Fransisco and after doing a cursory Google search, it appears my knowledge is extensive. Taking trams rules over taking buses because they don't...
BS
Κείμενο Ben Stern

This is nothing happening on the tram. Photo by the author.

It’s pretty cool that we have trams in Melbourne. The only other place I’m aware of that has trams is San Fransisco and after doing a cursory Google search, it appears my knowledge is extensive. Taking trams rules over taking buses because they don’t have to adhere to regular road rules and are therefore faster and, unless you are going somewhere beyond the end of the tram line, it generally beats taking the train too. Of course, it was even better before ticket inspectors outnumbered passengers three to one but that’s just something we’re all just going to have to work around. That’s not to say that taking the tram is a stroll in a rose garden. I try to ride my bike anywhere I physically can, because I actually also hate trams, but there are times when the Collingwood to Prahran trek is just too daunting. So: the tram. Once I watched a badly smacked out lady comb the greasy hair of her half dead junkie boyfriend for half an hour and another time someone kept falling asleep on my shoulder—which I put up with until they started dribbling on me. Which got me to wondering; what would happen if I rode the tram around all day? 9:00 AM: I get to the tram stop and the first thing I see is an almost bald lady (who has dyed what remains of her hair a blueish, purplish black) wearing a conservative black skirt suit. Apparently on public transport in Spain, strangers speak to and smile at each other. Not here. Everyone looks like they have given up on the world and everyone in it. 10:30: A dude with the most intense scar ever on his face gets on. It kind of looks like half of his skull has been removed and then someone has sewn it back up again above his eye. Ew. 12:00 PM: Realising that trams go really fucking slowly. Everyone that gets on looks like a ticket inspector. 1:00: A guy gets stuck in the doors trying to get out and flails about while people yell at the driver. An old lady with an undercut gets on. 2:00: Nothing happens. Really bored and tired. 3:00: All at once a middle aged guy who looks like a child, a kid who looks like an old man and a really old man get on. The old guy yells to the whole tram that he needs a seniors card until someone buys one for him. 4:30: There’s some school kids getting on and off and I’m feeling pretty shitty and thirsty. Just when I think I might not speak to anyone all day, a fancily dressed lady with a gold shirt and gold gloves, sits down next to me and starts telling me how she had broken down crying that morning but was much better now. I listen. She gets it off her chest and then gets off at the next stop. 6:00: I was going to try to hold out till nine o’clock but I kind of feel like I’m going insane and I really need to check my emails. I stumble home and drink a litre of water and make a pact to try the ride across the river more often. BEN STERN