Pedestrians, politicians and other flotsam ‘n’ jetsam

PEDESTRIANS

Given I’m still rather car-shy and road-shy, I’ve been spending more time on the footpaths wrangling pedestrians – and politicians it seems.

This afternoon I encountered the best pedestrian ever! An international tourist or student or resident (a young Asian woman speaking a language I couldn’t understand!) did the loveliest thing. She was walking with a friend along a footpath and I was approaching a pedestrian crossing and she happened to notice how awkward it was going to be for me to press the ‘walk’ button so she pressed it for me as she was walking by! How cool is that?!?!? At first I figured she and her friend must’ve been crossing, but they moseyed right on past. I seriously think that’s the nicest thing anyone did for me all week.

As a cyclist, punching the ‘walk’ buttons at road crossings is the most frustrating thing. The curb never matches where the pole with said button is, so you have to roll up, press the button, roll back and position yourself correctly on the curb. When you’re on a steep slope going up or down, this becomes more difficult. In fact, I must look like the most unco person that ever was when I’m on a hill with a walk button.

POLITICIANS (and prospective politicians)

But not as unco as the LNP candidate for South Brisbane Clem Grehan. At least, I think it was Clem Grehan. He looked too ‘candidatey’ to be a volunteer.

On Tuesday or Wednesday I was cycling along the south-east freeway bike path. I was heading for the city so I was cycling inbound on the left. Mister LNP Candidate was positioned on the right-hand side of the bike path with his corflute (dangerous much?!). I saw him and his LNP colours from a fair distance and so was somewhat prepared when he gave me a big ‘GOOD MORNING’!!

You know, I wouldn’t have minded so much if he hadn’t been the first person to speak to me that morning. I drew the line at talking back and just nodded. I thought that was highly respectful and was proud of my grace under fire.

Mind you, just as I cycled past I realised I completely failed the test and could’ve used the opportunity to chat with him about how I think the train stations should upgrade their bicycle lockers, how train stations should have cycle and disability access, how buses should cut across town rather than just TO town and how bike paths should frame road-sides all around town.

Damn it. I could’ve completely chewed his ear entirely undercover and under the guise of a random cyclist who he happened to wave to on their daily commute to work.

But no. I nodded and went on my merry way. As fast as my little legs could carry me.

Oddly and perhaps more significantly, on Tuesday I was stuck outside my office building with my bike stuck in the basement due to lifts being dead and me not having a swipe card with proper security access. I was pretty cranky and frustrated. Three people walked out of building – ALP’s last hope Kate Jones and two other people I presume were ALP staffers.

Me: Do any of you have a swipe card?
Kate: Nar we’re nobody.
Other two people: Mute.
Me: Haha it’s OK I know who you are!
Kate: We got a carpark though!
Other two people: Mute.
Kate: See ya later!
Me: See ya!
Other two people: Mute.

The difference between a politician and their staff is that politicians generally act like human beings whereas their staff generally come across as grumpy, arrogant, overly-protective people whose main thought is perhaps ‘Don’t you KNOW who we are …?’ or ‘How dare you ask Kate Jones MP who is sooooo important right now something so mundane as whether she has a swipe card to the building?’

Meh. Maybe I imagined the whole thing.

Either way, thank god Kate was there to represent Kate because her minders sure didn’t endear me. You’d think they should be be super nice as well in case I happen to be a constituent. Even if I’m not a member for Ashgrove, the ALP needs every vote and preference they can get.

Particularly if Clem Grehan is working the bikeways.

FLOTSUM AND JETSUM

I haven’t written my blog for a while. Not sure why. Busy with my new job I guess! And BLISSFULLY enjoying being back together with Sheldon.

I have a fantastic picture from last week. I made the correct decision to not cycle in the rain last week. It was bucketing down on the Tuesday. On the Thursday I braved the Ekibin bike path and realised (and silently celebrated!) my wisdom upon seeing evidence the waterways swelled so high on previous days that they left a whole stack of weeds lodged in the rails.

This was a common sight all along the bike path. It looked pretty cool (in a really morbid ‘I just flooded and ruined my picturesque surroundings’ kind of way).

Aside from not being able to access my bike overnight, I had the most wonderful week of cycling this week.

Jumping on the bike in the morning to commute to work and back on it again at night to commute home turns me into a completely different person. I am in great spirits – physically and psychologically. When I’m without the bike, I feel deflated and miserable. It’s not walking, it’s trudgery. Trudge. Trudge. Trudge.

I guess my ultimate goal is to achieve great spirits on the bus, but so far it has eluded me.

2 thoughts on “Pedestrians, politicians and other flotsam ‘n’ jetsam

  1. Maybe your arrogance (expecting a pollie to give you a swipe card) and not so friendly attitude (refusal to say hello back to Clem on the bike path) are reason Greens didn’t get a candidate into parliament. I think Clem would have said hello just because he is who he is. I remember him making the effort to come and say hello to me a few years ago when I hadn’t seen him for many many years just as he did when we occasionally crossed paths at uni in the 70s. He certainly didn’t have anything to gain as I’ve never voted in his electorate. He was also very polite when we were at school together in 1967.

  2. Hi Carmel,

    I’m the least arrogant person you’ll ever meet, so I won’t take your comment personally. Also, I wasn’t a candidate so I don’t think anything I did commuting to and from work affected the outcome of the election. I might’ve got a few more votes for the Greens at Moorooka polling booth due to my big friendly smile perhaps. I also co-ordinated some letterboxing for the Greens. That might’ve helped.

    I am not always waving the Greens flag. This blog is about my everyday bicycle life. If I spoke from a Greens Party perspective every minute of my life, I would go batty. I also like taking the dog to the beach, watching trashy escapist movies, going to rock gigs and gas bagging with friends about men, clothes, hair and make up.

    I wasn’t expecting a politician and her ALP staff to give me a swipe card. I was simply asking people I work with in the same building, who were hanging out with a pollie, if they had a swipe card. And the lovely pollie was the only person who answered! I found that odd. Also, I GOT TO TALK TO KATE JONES while wrangling bicycle trauma! Of course I’m going to share that on my bicycle blog!!

    With Clem, I don’t really think it’s wise to prop yourself up on the bike path to campaign. Kind of dangerous and in people’s way. He was campaigning on the bike path. Not beside the bike path, but on it. I’m sure he’s a nice enough fellow. As I said, I forgot to take advantage and say hello. I nodded. That’s enough. That’s what cyclists do.

    Clem wasn’t saying hello just because of who he is. He was campaigning. I’m sure he made someone else’s day. Just not mine. I’m not really convinced that a Liberal government is going to establish more, safer bike paths to encourage more people out and about to use climate-friendly transport to commute to and from work. I hope Gavin King convinces me otherwise when I go to see him as my local representative. I really don’t want to die while riding my bike. Really. It’s super dangerous out there!

    If you don’t enjoy the flippant humour I use in my blog that’s designed to entertain a particular readership group, I would seriously recommend you don’t read my blog anymore! It sounds like you don’t really get my warped sense of humour. I really LOVE to give pollies a hard time. 🙂

    But thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It wasn’t really all that funny and I found it quite hurtful (because there was no hint of humour or entertainment!). But it still made my day!

    Elissa.

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