Still kinda pissed about it taking me two hours to get home from the city tonight - when, if I'd taken my (motorcycle) gear, it would have taken me 40 minutes.
See, I had romantic notions of spending the train ride in and back absorbed in my new book. I also imagined I'd be done in the city and home again by dinner time. Best intentions and all that, eh? Just asking for the divine to play some mischief!
Brace yourselves. I'm about to debrief my PITA public transport escapade of today. So, for starters, I miss my train to the city by 5 minutes. I actually saw it pull in to the platform as I was walking up our street. Not to worry, another will be along in 7 minutes according to the LED display. 15 minutes comes and goes - and lo and behold - headlights (finally) in the distance.
Not a city loop train, so we wait at Flinders street (the main hub) before becoming a new destination line and head into the loop. Waiting, waiting, waiting. "Ladies and Gentleman. Thank you for your patience. We're just awaiting the tracks to be cleared and then we can depart." "Thank you for your continued patience... still awaiting track clearance and we'll be on our way."
Phone rings. It's Ben. "Where are you?"
"Sitting at Flinders street, awaiting track clearance."
"I'll get us a ticket, there's a queue."
And a good thing he did because we grabbed another ticket as we bolted through the doors (50 minutes later than anticipated) and we got the "sorry, no more tickets for name changes will be issued at Births, Deaths and Marriages, today. Appointments closed at 4pm." Would have been nice to know this prior. No mention on the website - in fact the website stated doors closed at 4.30pm. We planned to be there at half three, so we we thought we were giving ourselves enough time (minimising Ben's time away from work). Ben's original ticket, however, was still valid. Yay for the win!
As we waited for our turn, I suggested dinner in the city. Hunger had struck half way into town and I was getting a little antsy with the lack of glucose supply to the brain. Finally our turn and I'm told that the rates notice it asked for on the form wasn't actually enough to prove 12 months of residence in Victoria. Arse, arse, arsity, arse. "You can lodge now but you can't access express processing of five days. Instead, it will be five weeks". Eep! "Or you can lodge tomorrow with all your paperwork and still access express processing."
My intention of into the city and back out again was null and void.
So off we went to find a delicious, cosy spot for dinner. And as dumb luck would have it, we happened upon just the place. After a joyous bit of wall graffiti, indepth, exciting conversation and some very enjoyable Italian fare and indulgence, it was time to go home. We skipped to the station, and pledged to race each other home - he on the bike, me on the chauffeured locomotive, courtesy of our fair city.
Just missed a departure by a millisecond. The next 5 minutes away - lovely.
Except, I missed the last minute platform change that (quite obviously had) occurred as I was en route from my boarding station to the central hub, so engrossed in my book that I was. I realised the balls-up when I noticed the direction of the next station was back the way we had just come! I jumped up to check the platform notification and realised that if I stayed where I was, I'd be westward bound (rather than south-east). Eep!
Jumped off, utterly confused, feeling like I was lost in a deja vu twilight zone. Next Frankston train leaves in 20 minutes. Joy. Actually, no joy. Utter fucked offness actually. Try very hard to lighten the moment by posting amusing anecdote on social media site. Afterall, there's not much to be done, other than wait. Train arrives. Cruise into central hub (take two). Waiting, waiting, waiting. Phone rings. It's Ben. He's home. "Where are you now?"
"You'll never believe this. Sitting at Flinders street station."
Cue long, ragey, expressive, expletive-littered vent.
It made me feel (slightly) better.
Still nothing to be done, but wait.
I settle into my book and contemplate the plans we had discussed over dinner. Quite exciting plans :o). Decide I want to pull an all-nighter and work on the course framework for the new plans :o). Phone messages via sms. It's Ben. "I'm at the station, where are you now?"
Knowing I had just left Seaford station and the next was my stop and feeling we were slowing down, I message back "here!" He messages back "where?" just as the train announces we were arriving at Frankston station. Not Kannanook, my station - Frankston station, the one after. The train skipped my stop. Completely and utterly skipped it.
Oh, the colourful language the poured forth as I hit the pavement, walking homeward bound. Yes, it made me feel better. It was also likely to repel any unwanted attention that a small woman, walking alone at night in a dodgy part of town might attract. Not too many people approach the crazies yelling at the top of their lungs (even if they are small) and the good thing about living in a dodgy part of town, is that crazies like me are common fodder. I had a lovely old time shouting up at the moon. And by the time my knight in shining Mazda arrived, I was almost smiling again.
A potential 40 minute ride home turned into a two hour journey of seemingly wasted time. Although time is never really wasted, is it? Our plans for that time may be altered, but the minutes still tick over the same as they would have, regardless of where I happen to be in the world.
It's all good.
A lovely evening with my beloved was had, even though the trip into the city was not a brilliant utilization of my time in the end. Documents will be finalised and lodged tomorrow and with any luck, the name change will be legal in a week's time. Now isn't that an exciting thought?