Friday, October 07, 2005

Notebook and Pen, Luggage to Attend 

Here's a photo of my luggage in Bunbury's Jaycee's Park, across the railway tracks from the Bunbury Railway Station. Why is my backpack in Jaycee's Park? Because there isn't anywhere in Australia where you can leave your luggage unattended. I'd hoped to somehow cross both Picton and Sandridge roads and grab a quick coffee at The Forum during the hour or so between the bus from Albany arriving in Bunbury and the bus to Augusta leaving. After huffing off to the park I realised that perhaps one shouldn't complain if the vending machine yields a Toblerone and you have an hour to spend lying in the park on a sunny afternoon. backpack, calico shopping bag, open handbag, camera case on grass

In Perth over the weekend I noticed Transperth's signs asking telling us 'See something, say something.' For some reason I didn't equate this with security - I thought maybe I could make a suggestion or, should my vision loss be reversed, tell somebody. As if I wouldn't be cartwheeling around the platform, crying, whooping and hugging strangers if that should happen. Okay, so I realised Transperth's signs aren't specifically painted up for my benefit should a miracle occur. But only when I could read the small print (fortunately, this didn't involve crossing the tracks) did I realise they meant if I saw something suspicious, I should let them know.

I saw unattended luggage on my second last trip to Perth and asked a lady if she knew whose it was. She told me she didn't know but that whoever owned it had probably gone to the toilet. Ye-eah! I love that we're so trusting we'll leave our bags on a platform while we nip off to the loos. I worry we're so trusting. I'm sure I'm not the only Australian hoping that any visiting terrorists will check out the lifestyle here and decide to learn how to surf instead.

According to VICSIG, there's a similar campaign to 'See something, say something' in Victoria. People are asked to report seeing anybody taking a particular interest in the public transport system - people taking notes or photographs, for example. People like me but with less focus on the tactile ground surface indicators. Now my backpack and my notebook could cause people to freak out.

Agent FareEvader talks more about the potential for rail enthusiasts to help, rather than hinder, security efforts in 'Not in the Current Climate, Sir' (Hecho en Mexico, 4 October 2005). I hope the rail enthusiasts (or gunzels, as Agent FareEvader calls them) can make a difference. Most other public transport users are pretending they're somewhere else, just to get where they're going.

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