Since I started my new job I’ve been catching the tram again. It’s ever so slightly more reliable taking me through the city than the bus can be with the traffic.
Usually the tram experience is pretty much the same. In the morning I can pretty much guarantee I wont’ get a seat because I’m reasonably close to the city and everyone else is trying to get in there at the same time. The other morning two full trams went past me before I was able to get on the third one. I wasn’t happy about that and it made at least 15 minutes late. To top it off we stopped at a non-stop behind two other trams that weren’t going anywhere. Nobody told us anything about what was going on. We all just hopped off the tram like a herd of sheep and went on our way.
On the way home I usually get a seat because I’m on early enough in the run before everyone else gets on. That’s nice at the end of a day. I realised the other day that I was sitting next to an ex-colleague so it was good to have a chat with him about our respective jobs since we left the same organisation.
But sometimes it’s not so okay to catch the tram. The other evening there was an obvious urine smell. I checked out the guy next to me and he looked ok and it took me a while to work out where the smell was coming from. An elderly guy had stood up nearby and I thought he was preparing to disembark but he stayed on. He had a walking cane and wasn’t too steady on his feet. I looked to where he had been sitting and over the course of my journey people who were standing there warned others not to sit in that seat.
Initially I felt disgusted that this man wet himself and a seat on the tram but then I felt sorry for him because who wants to wet themselves in public. It’s not something that adults do. But still, it stank and on the new trams there’s no way of opening a window to let some fresh air in. I hope that the seat gets cleaned.
This incident was cast out of my mind the other night on my way home from work. I had my seat and at the next stop a woman got on the tram holding her toddler on her hip. I ummed and aahhed, tossing up the possibility of giving up my seat. I didn’t really want to stand all the way home but I thought if I were her I’d probably like to sit down so I didn’t have to carry that heavyweight on my hip so I asked her. She said no she didn’t want a seat but she wanted to buy a ticket. I told her it was free till South Terrace and then she said to me that her son really wanted to catch a tram and that they would go to South Terrace and get off and come back. The joy on his face was infectious and it made me forget all my adult worries just for a moment.
I also felt good that I’d cast my selfishness aside and offered my seat and then had a really nice interaction with this woman and her son. She even got him to wave goodbye to the lady (me) when they got off the tram.