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Funny thing happened on my way to Fox Valley... met a Canuck! - Stephan [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Funny thing happened on my way to Fox Valley... met a Canuck! [Jan. 17th, 2009|01:36 pm]
On the train en route to Fox Valley this morning I met a rather disorented Canuck who was very grateful for my assistance. I in turn was very intrigued to hear (albeit briefly) of how Sydney differs from where he came from (Toronto I think he said, though I could be wrong).

He struck up the conversation asking which station we had arrived at, because at that point there were no clear signs. I explained that the suburb was Pymble, and that the next would be Turramurra. He was looking for Wahroonga, which is one station beyond where I alight.

Glad that I was so forthcoming with assistance, he then explained his confusion at the map (http://www.cityrail.info/networkmaps/index.jsp). Where he comes from, differently coloured lines on the map merely identify the train routes, whereas here they often indicate actual physicaly separate tracks (even pairs of tracks in a rail corridor). When he'd arrived at Central Station he was baffled by the fact that there are over 20 platforms. I gave him the two websites www.cityrail.com.au and www.131500.com.au.

He explained that he'd been unable to telephone his friend on the mobile number he'd been given. He was using a phone card, which required dialling Australia's international number, and I realised there was the problem. Mobile and long-distance calls in Australia start with a zero, however the zero needs to be skipped when dialing with the internaitonal code.

In the short span of time remaining we discovered that each wanted to live in the opposite country. He recommended that I visit the snow fields in Calgary, and spoke of an amazing gondala ride in one of the valleys there.

During the day I've been thinking a lot about his mention that Toronto (assuming my recollection is correct) has fewer track lanes in the rail corridors and I wondered if I'd been too judgemental on Cityrail. However I considered how much worse Sydney would be if the city tried to manage with an infrastructure smaller than it currently is - the bottlenecks would be just unthinkable.

[User Picture]From: dhlawrence
2009-01-17 03:32 am (UTC)
Far fewer. Outside the maze that is Union Station, a lot of the railway lines have only one track per direction. They're laying a third on the Lakeshore West line, though. Union Station only has 14 platforms, to my knowledge.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-17 08:59 am (UTC)
"Outside the maze that is Union Station" :D I like that! That's very good. :D

Central, from memory, consists of 26 platforms. 1-15 are the terminating platforms for the interstate trains (though I've never seen 15 actually being used to collect passengers, but more of a waiting platform for idle trains). 16-22 are the regular suburban platforms. 23 & 24 are the underground platforms for the Bondi Junction line (IIRC) and 25 & 26 are the platforms for a never-finished line, and used for document archiving by the railways.

I'm not 100% certain about those numbers though, I'll need to check this out at some point. It's been a long while since I was at that end of the staiton.
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-17 08:53 am (UTC)
A point I only remembered just now. He was quite shocked at the prices here, particularly when he visited Bondi Junction. Even with the Canadian dollar being slightly higher ($1.20 Aussie at this moment) he was taken by surprise.
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-01-17 03:59 pm (UTC)
I recall similar surprise during my visit to Oz clear back in the Winter of '85. [Heh... I sound like some old prospecting geezer.] Those Ozzie dollar and two-dollar coins slip through your hands like water.

My hat's off to folks that can navigate a transport system full of names like Pymble, Turramurra and Wahroonga!
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-18 05:55 am (UTC)
ccdesan said:"Those Ozzie dollar and two-dollar coins slip through your hands like water.",
Quite right there; those coins are a joke. When they first emerged people said it was a con to make people spend quicker. What's most ridiculous is the $2 coin being smaller than the $1. What was the idea behind that? The New Zealanders got it right; they made the $2 bigger than the $1.

Are you sure it was '85 though? The $1 coin came out in 84, but I'm pretty sure the $2 didn't come until '88. I recall a hilarious skit on television which started with the then Prime Minister Bob Hawke looking at something through a microscope and our then Treasurer Paul Keating (AKA "The Undertaker", "Mr J Curve" and "Mr Recesion") came running up saying "Bob! Bob! Have you seen the new $2 coin?"
Bob Hawke looked up from the magnifying glass and said "I'm just examining it now. Why is it so small?"

ccdesan said:"My hat's off to folks that can navigate a transport system full of names like Pymble, Turramurra and Wahroonga!",
Oh those are just the start. Before continuing my journey to Fox Valley, the station I alight at is "Warrawee" ("Where are we?"). You can see it on the map.

Some time back (last year IIRC) DHLawrence and I swapped a few wierd place names. There's one from his neck of the woods named "Medicine Hat" after the meeting with the indigenous people where the medicine man's hat blew off.

Here's a few more Aussie places that might make you cringe if you didn't live there: Attunga, Awaba, Allawah, Berala, Baan-Baa, Barraba, Burringbar, Boggabilla, Ben Bullen, Bredbo, Blandford, Baradine, Bundook, Bendick-Murrell, Beckhom, Bell (near Lithgow), Berowra, Boggabri, Bogan Gate, Booragul, Biniguy, Bethungra, Burilda, Binalong, Bribbaree, Burren, Banksia, Bilnudgel, Bulliac, Bellambi, Bombo, Cabramatta, Cullen Bullen, Cowra, Dubbo (heh heh :) - Hi Batty! ), Dungog, Delungra, Dorrigo, Duri, Edgeroi, Eugowra, Eungai, Euabalong West, Leumeah, Leura (where Perri lived before moving into Sydney), Merah North, Mullumbimby, Murrurundi, Medlow Bath (I can never pronounce that one), Menangle Park, Merriwa, Menangle, Mungindi, Mittagong, Merriwagga, Mount Kuring-gai, Mindaribba, Menindee, Manildra, Mendooran, Mandurama, Mount Colah, Molong, Morundah, Merrygoen, Marrar, Marulan, Mudgee, Stockinbingal, Tahmoor, Toongabbie (I've always said it sounds like a cartoon cat), Tarcutta, Tocumwal, Trundle, Telopea, Temora, Trangie, Tuggerah, Tarago (also happens to be a make of Toyota van), Trida, Tallong, Tullibigeal, Turrella, Telarah, Tullamore, Turramurra, Wagga Wagga...
...and my all-time favourite which is a suburb in Sydney's CBD - WOOLLOOMOOLOO!!

The native Australians love the sounds "Ah" , "g" and "ee". Eg: "Kanga"

Wow... it's surprising how many of those places I've actually been to in person. I didn't think I'd travelled that much, but there you are!
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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-01-18 07:23 am (UTC)
Will you forgive me if I laugh out loud at Chinaman's Knob, Wet Beaver Creek and Tittybong?

Of course, here in Utah we have our own unusual place names as well.

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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-18 10:48 am (UTC)
ccdesan said:"Will you forgive me if I laugh out loud at Chinaman's Knob, Wet Beaver Creek and Tittybong?",
I'll happily forgive you, though I cringed slightly on realising the common theme running through those names. :0 Wet Beaver Creek probably sounds perfectly innocent on its own...

ccdesan said:"Of course, here in Utah we have our own unusual place names as well.

My goodness!! ROFLOL!! That video deserves to win an award! So well composed, and arranged (needs subtitles though - not all the place signs are clear enough to read). Did those young people performing write the song as well, or perform to one that was already recorded?

You have a Manilla in Utah? Guess what, so do we :P (Animated foxaroo blowing razberry not available at this time).

Now if you'll excuse me I'll just go all melancholy over my inability to travel... ;)
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-31 03:11 am (UTC)
Near the end of the month and I have spare internet quota to use up so I watched this again. It's awesome!

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[User Picture]From: ccdesan
2009-01-18 07:26 am (UTC)
And you could be right about the $2 coins. I just know the one-dollar beasties were murder - at the time it was like US $1.50 or more, and they were so easy to spend...

We loved our visit, by the way. I only got to spend a week in Canberra and environs, but it was a wonderful experience. Left me wanting to come back for a lifetime to explore the rest of the country. Still on my list...
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[User Picture]From: thefoxaroo
2009-01-18 10:57 am (UTC)
Whatever for? This country is a dump! :P Nothing here that can't be found, and better, in other parts of the world... well, apart from the wildlife. Anything that's worth seeing in Sydney I've probably already photographed by now: http://scottrell001.livejournal.com/12629.html
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