Mostly I am a people fan. The diversity, perplexity and even the celebrity of human-kind.
It was not always like this. I use to lock my internal scanner onto the traits of others which boiled my blood. Like the sweet hospitality servant at your local café. Sweet to your face and loathing upon your turned back. That was me, it was sport and I was great at it. I even took the time out to compose a list of defects which proved the Dalai Llama was a racist jerk. Maybe I was the only person convinced that drunken day.
Public transport is a wondrous realm in which to document the movements and behaviours of others. To Brisbane via train has been my latest conquest. Into the big smoke for a bucks celebration and home again to complete the experience.
This is a journey I have not embarked on enough times to gauge what reflects standard etiquette. Both journeys I sat in the designated QUIET CARRIAGE. I packed a book and note-pad in the case of spontaneous creative urges. I got comfy at Varsity Lakes, relaxed to the steady motion of travel and soaked in the view of “the other side of the tracks”.
I arrived in Brisbane and partied alongside the boys. Go-karts, lawn bowls and then home-cooked BBQ. I resigned to a midnight journey home. I don’t keep up like the younger maniac self of old. I was on at Roma St. The station made famous by Mr Bernard Fanning. You remember the film-clip? It looks like a train station. Trains and tracks and a slinky? No?
I figured I would doze off nicely as the train left the big-smoke. But… it was RiverFire!! One station over the river and all of a sudden the quiet carriage flooded with at least one thousand drunken youngsters. Possibly two thousand (I’m kinda claustrophobic) . An aussie institution. The under-aged mob.
They must have known it was the quiet carriage because the noise levels can only have reached the insane decibels as a group display of irony. Young people and endless energy suck. They kept the atmosphere uncomfortable and tense with fighting threats for a full forty minutes.
The great intrusion was matched only by the spooky exodus. Within two stations, Loganlea and Beenleigh, the carriage disintegrated to a mere pack of weary souls.
What is happening in this neck of the woods? I must, out of pure fascination, camp out in the Loganlea/Beenleigh neigbourhoods and study. The bogan, in it’s wild environment. Oh my, the language, clothing and hairstyles!! I tell ya, normal middle-class citizens through to the professional class are boring, predictable and just lacking compared to these wonderful folk. One pleasant young chap even had courtesy to squish in next to me and harass with an uninterrupted passion. I loved it!
I am still unsure if I loved or hated the ordeal. However, I do doubt that the likes of The Orient Express through Europe has got nothing on the experience of Logan Bogans after a night celebrating the mighty Brisbane River.