There is one thing I’ve learnt since living in Sydney and that is Sydney, like me, is a morning person albeit to a degree.
How do I know this to be the case?
On the most part Sydneyites use public transport to and from work each day. I’ve been unlucky enough to use all form of transport, depending on where I live and where I work.
This blog has come about through my travel to work via the ferry. I caught the ferry each day at Cabarita Wharf and the trip itself was probably the best form of transport going, as ferries don’t have to worry about road traffic issues.
You see, there is a definate protocol to follow while waiting to board a ferry, bus and train. However, the protocol for ferries and buses are similar, trains are another story.
The morning ferry protocol
At most wharves along Parramatta River there is a long walkway between the main part of the wharf and where you board the ferry. Cabarita ferry wharf is no different, see image below.
Each morning people line up along the gangway, first person starts the line and each person afterwards falls behind and so on. I’ve also learnt that Sydneyites don’t make friends at transport line-ups no matter how many years you come across the same people waiting for the same ferry/bus/train, you just don’t talk. You might smile but generally not. Anyway, if someone breaks the line protocol, no one calls them out on it even though you know it’s bothering some and as much as they want to tell the line protocol breaker to adhere to the protocol, they won’t say a word. When the ferry arrives people quietly and politely embarks. Generally no one breaks the embarking protocol (oh yes, there is an embarking protocol too).
The protocol for disembarking the ferry (yes another protocol) is a little less routine but civil non-the-less. Once people are off the ferry they make their way to their prospective office blocks usually buying a coffee at their favourite coffee vendor along the way before they disappearing into their high-rise office building and their work day begins.
All rather civil to this point.
The afternoon ferry protocol
The afternoon ferry protocol, if you can call it that, is somewhat dishevelled. And the issue starts with the wharf.
The offending wharf I started my journey home from was King St Wharf near Darling Harbour. There is no gangway that forces a nice neat line towards the ferry so that doesn’t help the cause. People have to mill around on arrival. Who comes first is not monitored or taken into consideration, when the millers are in great numbers, who came first is impossible to tell. As time marches on the miller numbers increase exponentially and the anxiety levels increase.
So why do people get anxious you ask?
The answer to this is all in the number of millers to the number or standard of seats available to the ferry passengers. Now this was never a problem for me, there were always enough seats but people’s anxiety levels still rose because of the eagerness to get the hell home after a day in the office and the eagerness to get a good seat far away from those horrid kids that make the trip home all that more annoying.
To add to the anxiety, the line protocol is no where to be seen. It’s not about who got to the ferry first, it’s about who got to the little bridge between the ferry platform and the boat itself. This involves pushing and in some case shoving. Thankfully I kept my anxiety in check by being polite and letting the people I though deserved it, go ahead. But of course there were always the people who either arrived to the wharf after me or I didn’t like the look of, so I held my ground and ensured I embarked before them regardless of means.
So in conclusion, I came to the conclusion that Sydney, like me, is a morning person.