After a lovely week of sunny days most of last week, it pissed down over most of the weekend. This was never more apparent when on Sunday night I was on my way to Fitzroy.

I didn’t have the car. I was meeting someone at a pub, and as a rule, I like to have some kind of alcoholic beverage when I go to a pub. I have an understanding of how alcohol works with me: I drink it, I enjoy it, and it numbs my senses, reduces my co-ordination, and generally leaves me in the kind of state where, for my own safety and the safety of others, I shouldn’t be driving. So if I’m going out and planning to have a drink, the car doesn’t come along with me.

It wasn’t raining when I left the house, and I caught the train into the city, then stepped out of Parliament station, looking for an 11 tram going up to Fitzroy. No such vehicle was forthcoming, and if I stood around waiting for one, I was going to be late. And I don’t like being late. I guessed it was perhaps a ten minute brisk walk to where I wanted to go, which would be okay. But of course by this time, it was raining.

Having seen the amount of rain dropping out of the sky over the weekend, logic would have dictated that taking an umbrella might have been a good idea. Yes, it definitely would have been a good idea. Was it a good idea that I had followed? Hell no. So I stumbled up MacArthur Street, trying to avoid the puddles.

Then I noticed a tram coming. I bolted for the tram stop, and got on it, noticing with a silent curse that it wasn’t a number 11, it was a number 12. While numerically this was only a slight difference, geographically it was significant. This would only go a few hundred metres. I needed to go about another three blocks from where it would terminate.

I got out of the tram again a minute later when it had travelled as far as it was going to travel, and set off on foot down  Brunswick Street. Naturally as soon as I pondered the idea of hailing a cab, none were to be seen.

By this point it was becoming apparent that my coat, though warm enough, is scarcely adequate for keeping out the rain. In fact that’s being quite kind to it. It’s inadequate. After about three minutes of solid rain falling onto it, it starts to absorb water. This is not a good thing.

Eventually, of course, I got to where I was going. Amazingly I managed to avoid stepping in any really deep puddles and drowning. I felt drenched, the water was streaming down my face, and my immaculate hair (ha!) was soaked. But I wasn’t really drenched, just the coat was – taking that off and getting some beer
down my throat soon had me feeling better.

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.