Getting off

Today and yesterday I zipped into the city on the train at lunchtime to enjoy some good food and a chat with some friends. The train goes express between Malvern and South Yarra, skipping three stations, so just after leaving Malvern I was somewhat bemused to see a guy a few seats ahead of me get up, put his bag on his back and make for the door. I watched him stand right next to the door, as if he was expecting at any minute to be able to get out. Uh uh.

Armadale zoomed past at about 80Km/h and he must have realised his mistake, but acted very coolly, leaning back against a railing, obviously thinking "if I just relax and look nonchalant, nobody’s going to know I thought I could get out at Armadale. They’re just going to think I like getting up from my seat five minutes before the train is going to stop, and standing around in the doorway looking like an idiot…"

But some people, not usually to that extreme, do get up early. They’ll stand at the doorway, fingers on the handle, poised to escape, a good minute or two before the train stops, as if they can’t wait to get out. Maybe they can’t.

Other people leave it until the train has stopped, everyone else has already got on and off, and then they make a mad dash for the door, just passing through as the doors begin to close again. My mate Brian
did this once, chatting for just a bit too long before getting off the train we were all riding on. By the time he’d finished chatting, the train was moving again and he got carried on to the next stop, which I found enormously amusing at the time. Fortunately the trains back were pretty frequent.

And me? I’m in the middle somewhere. I don’t leave it until the last minute. And I don’t hurry to the door to be the first out. Unless I notice a little old lady start to move to the door, in which case I’ll consider getting up and getting to the door first, which could be interpreted as a gallant attempt to assist in opening the door, or alternatively a rather selfish attempt to get off the train without being delayed!

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.