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Friday, December 01, 2006

What I'll Miss About Perth (2): Public Transport

I find it rather apt that what I have suffered during my last few days in Perth would be pretty much what I have suffered throughout my whole stay here in the past two and a half years.

Limited internet access.

So, my dad had finally came here for a visit, so we can both go back to Malaysia together. He's also here for the premiere of my new short film, Girl Disconnected, at the Murdoch University Film Festival 2006 (it's also called the National Academy of Screen and Sound Festival 2006), where the film (and an earlier one, Vertical Distance) are competing for a few awards.

Currently staying in a really comfortable service apartment (... with no internet access).

My dad has also rented a car, which made me realize that it's highly unlikely that I'll be taking any of the buses and the trains, my main means of transportations throughout my stay in Perth (especially the former).

And once I return to Malaysia next Tuesday, these buses and trains from Perth will become nothing more than a memory. It's funny that once I am about to leave, the things that I'll miss most are all those tiny little mundane stuff. But the fact is, I don't think I've ever had any horrible experience in these buses at all.

Sure, the late night 940 ones that go from the city to the Garden City shopping mall to some dark scary suburbs near Murdoch before stopping at Kardinya were good in inflicting car sickness, and there had been many times when I've felt like puking in these looooong journeys, but the fault rested more on the route taken by the bus than the bus itself.

Services had always been fine, there were some hardass bus drivers who would merely scowl when being greeted, or remain emotionless despite being smiled at, but most of the time, the bus drivers were the ones who greeted me. So last week, while I was alone in a bus from Murdoch University to Perth City during the evening, I decided to take a few photos of myself. In an empty bus.

Empty Bus
The bus was REALLY empty

Me, Alone In A Bus
Swifty, alone in an empty bus

Yes, I look gorgeous, despite not being able to hold the camera properly to take the self-portrait. And the bus driver was trying very valiantly to keep himself from freaking out when he saw his one and only passenger starting to take photos of himself and then giggling like a girl throughout the whole journey.

Of course, you may have also seen these buses before at the opening parts of the Kenny Sia video I made last year.

Now, as for the trains, I've made numerous mentions about how I nearly got arrested when trying to shoot a scene there without permission. But ultimately, I still think that the Perth train station is the most beautiful building in the whole damned city, especially at night. Wish I had taken more photos of it, although I think that's forbidden too).

It's not that there aren't any public transportation in Kuala Lumpur, just that they feel... different. I'm not dissing Malaysia, but Perth is a more laidback place, the buses and trains are rarely crowded, most people would just sit there quietly, either asleep, or reading, there was never the need to suffocate myself and being pinned against the wall by a faceless mass of humanity when I was in a train (something I suffered when taking the trains or commuters back in Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Tokyo, hah, basically places with higher population)

I like the rush, and it's one of the reasons why I ultimately chose to leave Perth (although there are other factors involved), but I know I'm going to miss the idyllic pace here.

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