Good afternoon everyone.  It is already Friday, how time flies!!  Tomorrow there will be gotong royong taking place prior to Kampung Vic North Maulidur Rasul celebration scheduled at Belle Vue School on Sunday.  Next Tuesday at 4.30pm is my meeting with Ruth and Kate.  How prepared am I for the meetings?  I often feel that my preparation for the meeting are never enough and I always feel that I should have done more.  OK, let’s move on to our topic today, shall we?

That morning at 9.00am, I was waiting for the train at Glenroy Railway Station.  The service was delayed by 7 minutes and the moment I boarded the train, I realized that the name of the stations announced on the train was a few stations behind.  For example, we reached Pascoe Vale Station but it was announced as Coolaroo (so was the name appeared on the LED display).  Oftentimes, I pay no heed to the error because I can always attest the name of the destinations by surveying the name on the platform every time the train stops.  That morning however, something took place and altered that view.

The train was getting packed by the time we left at Ascot Vale and more passengers boarded the Metro train at Kensington station.  After Kensington, it is North Melbourne and that is my stop.  Of course, during the entire time of the journey, the names of the stations were announced not accordingly.  As the train slowly approaching North Melbourne, I could feel someone pushing her way through and it was an old Vietnamese lady.  She’s small, wearing a straw hat and was pulling a trolley normally used for groceries.  She looked panicky and desperately looking for someone who could understand Vietnamese.  There were two Asians in front of me, a boy and a girl.  She grabbed the hand of the boy and asked if he speaks Vietnamese.  The boy couldn’t understand her so she proceeded to the girl.  I was relieved when the girl started to communicate with her in their mother tongue.

From their conversation, I could gather that the old lady wanted to exit the train at Kensington – and asked the girl how to get to Kensington now that she has missed  the station.  Once we arrived at North Melbourne station, the girl exited with her (although I strongly suspect that it was not her stop).   I could see that she guided  the old lady to the correct platform and I proceeded with my journey.  It is not done until I boarded bus no. 401 that will bring me to the department.

Prior to yesterday’s incident, I often thought that inaccurate announcement or display on commuting train can be pardoned as there is often other approaches that can be used to ensure that we are where we are.  The flaw with that assumption is that it doesn’t include persons who entirely rely on the announcement system to tell them where they are.  Perhaps, the old lady has taught herself to catch one word from the announcement and that one word is “Kensington” – suffice to indicate that it is the correct station to exit, at the least.  Therefore, it is a BIG DEAL that incorrect information is announced or displayed on the train because such errors can always cost people something, no matter how big or small.

Nevertheless, I still rate Melbourne public transport system as very efficient, of reliable service and having good Samaritans amongst us like the Vietnamese girl is indeed an added bonus to our commuting experiences.

Traveling by public transport is the most convenient way to get you to places in Melbourne.

Traveling on public transport is the most convenient way to get you places in Melbourne.

Note: While I was browsing for images to furnish this entry, I bumped into these!

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The images of Glenroy Railway Station since it commencement in 1887 until now.

The images of Glenroy Railway Station since it commencement in 1887 to date (Source: http://www.moreland.vic.gov.au/libraries.htm; http://www.victoriapictures.vic.gov.au; http://www.flickr.com)

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