There was an annoying tune coming from my phone, as it did every morning, announcing the start of my day. It hadn’t dawned yet, but that was winter. Which was a season that packed quite some chill for a country known for its heat. Some of the cold had crept into the house and reluctant to unleash myself from the warm grip of the thick, snug blanket, I tended to snooze my alarms. Each time giving up a morning’s privilege. Starting off with a grand breakfast becoming a quick sandwich and banana. Then I’d have to skip the hot shower that warmed me up before embracing the cool outside. Finally, it would end in me speeding into my clothes and rushing off. Everyday it got a tad colder and it was always a struggle of wanting to be cold early on with only a sweater, or to drag around a bigger jacket all day once the Australian sun rose and brought its warmth. Because in all fairness, though this part of Australia is the coldest when it comes to winters, it was quite a doable cold. Nowhere near freezing, it was only the icy, fierce wind that stood between me and a comfortable temperature. I’ll give Melbourne that, the winds get tough and hard at times. But if I was lucky, which I never was, it would work in my favour.
Upon exiting the garden through the gate, wielding the steering wheel of my bike in one hand, I departed towards Corio station. On the way, as usual, was the lady helping kids cross to school. She’d wave at me every morning and I would greet her back. Then, a few turns, crossing a traffic light and on to the station. A thing I like about public transport, once you go on a regular time, you begin to notice the odd ones out and remember the usual folks. Once you’re part of that group, you would give each other a sly nod. You know, and they know. It’s like a secret signature. And this, was the same when I awaited the usual traffic when at the station. Once the train arrived, I’d get myself to a bike spot, tie up the bike and work myself into a seat. Cue the music. Depending on the day of the week, the train could get quite busy. Usually it wasn’t all that bad, but there were days where the train took more passenger than it could hold. People would be left at the station, unable to board as the doors shut. Everyone inside was squeezed together closely. This occurrence hadn’t been faint to me, nonetheless, every time I would stress myself how I would manoeuvre my bike past a crowd of people onto a station where no one exits.
From Deer Park, if in the right season, I would be in for another treat. Most times, apart from a single road rage, cycling from the station to my work, was a pleasure. Though the traffic seems daunting, truth is that it is far from it. The only thing truly daunting and frankly aggravating are the fuckers occupying the sky. The black and white assholes that, during their prime season, target anyone who comes close. And, to add on top of that, they have an excellent memory and would become increasingly more aggressive towards those passing by on more than one occasion. Of course, I am talking about the bloodthirsty magpies. So, before I could hop on my bike and continue, as one of them lurked right near the station, I had to prepare my set-up. On my entire trip, there were three of them that had me as target. The two worst were on this road, one at the beginning of, and the other scouting the roundabout in front of my working place. At first, foolishly listening to the “knowledgeable” locals, I put zip locks on my helmet to frighten them when eyes had failed. That had come after too many encounters where flailing my hands and cursing them had little effect. This plan only seemed to be a bigger failure however. So, one evening, I sat scheming my revenge and hopefully more successful plan. At last, close to losing my sanity, I came with a brilliant idea. Thus, looking like the village idiot with my special zip-lock helmet and glued-on eyes, I cycled on the long road blasting hawk and eagle sounds from my speaker. For as long as I had them fooled – about a week and a half – the rides had returned to peaceful and enjoyable.
Then, after tricking the final flying terrorising magpie, I arrived at work. A job, I for once in my lifetime enjoyed going to. The space I worked in was simple, but it had some diversity to it and plenty of moving about. It was a mixture of independent as well as team work and the coworkers made me look forward in the morning. The same, typical day in-day out stuff that could be timed to the minute, was made endurable because of them. It felt great to be part of a group so diverse in character and nationality that it included about every continent, yet concurrently so compatible together. Whether it was the ones I worked side by side with on the regular, or those I bonded with during the break, it worked like a well-oiled machine. Even the supervisors and bosses had been people I could talk to, one of whom I bribed with stroopwafels. In summary, the thought of “earning money for the next venture” had turned into an amazing experience including day trips and nights out.
On my way back, it was the same game I played with the unforgiving magpies. Then if I was lucky, I could fit in on the first train with bike and all. If I indeed could, it would always fascinate me how every single day it was the same exact people in the same spot. Personally, I was forced to enter there due to my bike, but these people decided themselves to incessantly take up the same seat and never elsewhere. It made me chuckle, as I tried to find myself a spot. On my return, I would have to pass some minutes on a station in-between. Over the duration of the six months working, this was a station I got to know all too well. After nights out, working and at times day-trips, I would be stranded here, at Wyndham Vale. In the first week, it began with a short chat, but it ended with me remembering the schedule of all four working on the platform. So everyday, I could prepare for a quick gossip and be on my way again. Though I stride through life with earphones in, avoiding social interactions, it makes the longer commute more bearable. Upon having traversed the final bit to Corio station, I’d spurt off on my bike to the strange man’s house, where the champ would actually prepare me dinner as I did my own thing. Which, if you remember my first post since the disappearance, often included drinking the wine I got through auditing and converting my thoughts and tales to written. Or simply binge watching that what makes me smile and laugh like an idiot at my screen. Nothing spectacular.
That, is a peek into what a normal working day looked like for me, and simple as it was, I enjoyed it. With a comfortable place, a well-paying job and a great bunch of people, I truly felt to have had the right experience, but all stories must come to end, and so did this. Onto the next!
Thank you for reading the post! With this and the past posts I am trying to mix things up. Instead of glossing over Australia with the few riveting experiences, I am attempting to portray an other side of my life. My life does not revolve around travel entirely and I thought it would be interesting to write about the counter side as well. Do you think they are too long to read through? Give me your advice and if you have been to Australia, where should I go to next time, apart from Melbourne?