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Saturday, June 7, 2008

STARTS WITH AN S, ENDS WITH A YDNEY

It seems a city obsessed with your opinion. Questionnaires form the moment you alight from the your plane. Papers fluttering in your face as you haul your carry-on down a moving walkway, disposable pens littering the airport floor. Then, as you step out into the blaring light of a real day, you're stopped by barriers, squeezed through a maze, according to choices you make without really knowing it. Slipping onto the train, you think you're safe. Then a wild-haired woman thrusts yet another pen in your hand, this one slightly chewed, slightly bent. She makes you rate your satisfaction of something you haven't even had a chance to experience yet. You lean your head against the scratched perspex window, straining. Would you travel CityTrains again? Agree? Strongly disagree?

You stumble off at the station, back up to street level. You begin to walk, pedestrian-pummeled as you are by the streams of lunch hour shoulders. But you smile: no one needs your opinion, at least for a precious moment. But here, now, is the true cold vacuum of human empathy. All these individual minds, squeezing every spatial inch from every public space, still walking forward as traffic streams towards them. You begin to stare longingly at the cars, with their comparatively balletic problems of angles and tiny victories, merging slowly together in an organic urban dance.

You arrive at your hotel with an empty head and with all energy spent. This city, you think. Some might say a city looking forward. You see a city too obsessed with the present to even consider anything or anyone else.

2 comments:

Furious Vaginas said...

I think you should write a post about how wonderful your sydney travelling companion was. And how beautiful. And how hard it was to resist her charms but you were so restrained...

Glennjamin said...

I love those comment-questionnaire people.

They start off with a "This isn't on behalf of any particular company", sneak in a "So, has your frequency of shopping at other supermarkets increased or decreased since ALDI opened at the Hyperdome?", go through a whole lot of "Yes" "No" "Somewhat disagree"... and all you get is a free biro and a coffee voucher.