First day after Bali.

Bali

Bali

It shows some courage to begin writing again so soon after Bali. One does not really know how one is affected by surroundings and mood of a country, till one leaves. It is even stronger on the return. While Bali’s airport seems just as busy as Sydney’s if not busier, the smiles were still free. I don’t know if smiles are free in Sydney too. We just did not see them. Perhaps they were in hiding, deep inside the multi pocketed ‘Border Control& Protection’ uniforms.  There were hundreds of them carrying serious frowns and some had guns!

At Sydney’s airport rail station we asked for 2 tickets to Bowral. The man did not look up from his computer; kids or adults, he asked crankely?’   ‘Have a look,’ Helvi smiled back. ‘That’s 42 dollars then’, the man said grimly. ‘We are pensioners, Helvi said!’ ‘That’s 28 dollars,’ the station man said, and ‘show me your pension card’. Fair enough, but does it have to be so unfriendly and with so much officialdom, such sticking to facts and rules? Many foreign people arrive in Australia as tourists. What do they make of that sort of treatment? He could have smiled. He could have advised us the nr of platform and the time of departure. Helvi always smiles. No, we had to ask for each item separately.

And now the train; It was unheated and for us it was a killer of a downer. I mean at 7am Sydney’s winter is serious and at 9c climbing steadily towards a balmy 12c at 10am, it wasn’t tropical. We were prepared but not to the arctic blasts coming through the doors every time they opened. Again, there were some people with huge suitcases. They might well have been tourists. You wonder what they will report back? We had to change trains at Campbelltown. Again, difficult to find out which platform. A loudspeaker kept saying, over and over, that the train at platform 4 was not to be boarded because it had terminated. That was fine, except there was no train to board (or not as the advice was bleating) at platform 4.

Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

Another message warned people that all platforms were smoke free. All the platforms were in open air and outside. A strong wind was merrily blowing around. Surely, someone wanting a smoke could have been given that freedom. There were no shortages of Coca Cola machines and chocolate bars, crunchy violent bars and other snacks to tempt the terminal obese with. I would rather see a smoking person than hear a slurping Coke being downed.  Anyway,  both sugar and smoking is bad, so perhaps I am just cranky or being difficult again. The loudspeakers at Campbelltown rail station certainly work and the next dire warning came soon after the advice of not boarding a non-existent train.

Listen carefully to this one now! ‘Will all train passenger, please disperse along the entire platform, please (second time). None of the 4 platforms had more than 12 passengers. I can only surmise the messages were on an endless tape that would just drone on and on, giving the warnings over and over again. The last message now. Again, a beauty for making tourists welcome and safe; ‘All platforms will be regularly patrolled by our police to make sure no criminality will be committed on our platforms or trains.’ Indeed, we noticed police and dogs strolling around the platforms. It made us pass the time as there was 55 minutes waiting for the next train (another unheated one) on platform 4 to take us to our final destination. The loudspeaker was still warning us endlessly not to board the train at platform 4 as it had terminated!

Ah, we knew we were back. All this made us feel home!

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47 Responses to “First day after Bali.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    What a sad welcome home. Cold, in more ways than one.😦

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, We were tired and that’s when a glass often looks half empty instead of half full. The going through customs and the stupid Border Control Protection officers parading about made us feel unwanted. What can you do?

      Like

  2. bkpyett Says:

    The photos of Bali are delightful. I’m sorry you had such an unfriendly return to Australia. Maybe you should live in the country where the people are more friendly. I must admit I don’t appreciate the rail services here either, as they don’t put the public first. That is another story! Glad you are both back safely! 🙂 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      We live in Bowral which is semi-country and the people are friendlier. Even the station master here was most helpful on the way to Sydney. But in Sydney they need well trained staff that are welcoming to visitors at the airport.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. berlioz1935 Says:

    Welcome back to Australia and sorry, you had a bad welcome from the railway. We too lament the constant silly announcements at the station. Especially today, as we stepped onto the platform they announced that “the police is targeting criminal activity”!. That stopped us straight away from indulging in such activity. In Abbott’s new Australia, this could lead to deportation and cancelling of our citizenship.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks for your welcome peter. Much appreciated.
      Yes, they must play that same message at all stations. Criminal activity must be stopped. We looked around and just saw an old lady sipping a coffee and some other tourists with large suitcases and a boy on a skate board.
      The train from Campbelltown to Bowral had a very noisy undercarriage that kept on grinding away. I almost felt like borrowing an oil can and lubricate the wheels or something. It just went on screeching relentlessly and sounded dangerous.
      But, in between the stations such lovely greenery and so much open space. At stations in between no one got off or onto the train. Australia really is so sparsely populated. In Bali people are everywhere which we enjoyed.
      Yes, Abbott is now full on about stopping just about everything, even the wind blowing onto the wind farms.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. auntyuta Says:

    42 Dollars for two pensioners, I find this outrages. From anywhere you pay as a pensioner on public transport only 2 Dollars fifty. This is for the whole day, no matter how often you use the public transport on that day.

    Dapto is on the South Coast Line. We have now beautiful warmly heated Oscar trains. For us it is a pleasure to travel to Sydney and back. In the past there were sometimes trains with awfully cold blowing air-conditioning. I am glad that the Oscar trains seem to have a better heating system.

    When we go to the airport, we try to avoid that outrageously dear railway-station. We rather take a taxi to a close by station from where we can travel for $ 2,50. It is also possible to catch a bus from the airport which can take you for instance to Central Station.

    Best thing of course is when someone can pick you up from the airport!

    You say you had to change trains at Campbelltown and had to wait for 55 minutes for your connecting train. Did you not feel like going for some hot drink to pass the waiting time?

    Now you are home and can think back to the beautiful time on Bali. The pictures are beautiful. I am looking forward to see more of them!
    Hope you’ll soon get over the bad home-coming and that both of you are going to have a lovely weekend.

    Sincerely, Uta🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Uta, but a train to the airport (or bus) is costly and is not subject to pension concessions. The convenience of catching a train direct to or from within the airport is great. Both the domestic and international terminals have their own rail stations now. I remember Schiphol in Holland also had a direct rail line to Amsterdam but from memory it was free.
      We did not mind the cost but did not really want an indifferent rail staff member to be so rude.
      For our daughter or anyone to pick up would be far more expensive and inconvenient, And at 6am the airport is chockers with departures and arrivals, taking in consideration the curfew is lifted at 6am. Even a 10 minute park sets you back $ 20.- Cars are not allowed to stop and pick up passengers anymore in front of the terminals.
      A few months ago and back from Bali, our daughter could not even get to the airport for the traffic. We caught a taxi to her place which was the cheapest and best of all options.
      We have trains to Bowral that might be heated but they were not yesterday. Never mind, c’est la vie ( and Australia) and we are home. Milo smiled a lot and so will our grand-kids which we will see tomorrow.

      Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Campbelltown Station has no cafeteria. The old lady sipping her coffee, told us she had bought it in the shopping centre well before she reached the station. For us to go through those automatic ticket gates (that did not work at the airport), go to the shopping centre with our luggage and get a coffee…? 😉 😉😉

      Like

      • auntyuta Says:

        What a bummer all around! You’re so lucky though that Milo smiled a lot.
        When we had a little dog and left her alone just for the day, she’d be very, very cranky with us when we returned! She lived to the ripe old age of 16 years. When we travelled overseas, our daughter would look after her, which was fine. Circumstances have changed. Right now we are better off not having a dog.

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  5. 8 Degrees of Latitude Says:

    Ah well! Better get back to Bali then. It’s smiles better. And there are no trains here … and it’s only 9C on top of Gunung Agung.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Carrie Rubin Says:

    It’s never easy to leave paradise, is it? Oh well, it’ll make the next trip to Bali all that more wonderful. Welcome home!

    Like

  7. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you Carrie.
    We are home and rested. Tomorrow a drive to Sydney and daughter with grandsons. One of them has to play soccer. I’ll put a smiley in my post.😉

    Like

  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    😉 😉😉😉 This helps a bit too.

    Like

  9. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I’m glad you are back home safe and secure but not happy and that’s to be expected when one leaves a place such as the one in the picture. It looks like Eden in Bali.

    Truthfully, in the states folks don’t smile much- at least in the larger cities. Everybody is gruff and in a hurry. Over population I think, is a cause for ill manners.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, despite the tourism and the millions per year that visit this small island of Bali, it still is unique and so different and that’s what makes a great visit, ‘the difference’.
      I suppose in the US, money dominates as it does here, and it makes for solid grumpiness. Australia is not overpopulated but the values seems to have drifted away from what life ought to be about. A joy in community and family, friends.
      Milo knows all about that. You can tell when he looks at us.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. sedwith Says:

    😊😆😃😄 Bali 😠😡😳😲 Sydney 😈😨😎😒😪 Darwin

    Like

  11. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    It’s always hard to come back home after a beautiful vacation, especially if the weather is shitty. A smile can make all the difference, but I think you still would have been cranky./

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lilith Says:

    yes, I know just what you mean. Each time I return to Australia I am taken aback by the rudeness, and often imagine what tourists make of this. And then there’s the obesity here, so markedly different from the countries, European and Asian I have visited. I am pretty sure you were not being cranky, these things strike me too…and I arrive filled with the joy of overseas and feelings of mellow love for all humankind…… And I have figured out why I don’t get your blogs, I had set my settings not to, somehow. Have now amended this for regular doses of Oosterman Treats! woohoo!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Nice to read you have joined up, Lilith.
      I am chuffed each time someone bothers to read my words. It takes time to re-adjust to Australia. There is a coldness in the air, a disconcerting change of mood and direction. I think this government is really wrecking Australia to the point many are leaving seeking a life elsewhere. I am curious how your daughter fared with her film?

      Like

  13. Cecilia Says:

    You are so right about that fact that you are surrounded by the mood of the place you are in, often without knowing it. Great post, thanks for sharing.

    Like

  14. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I’m sorry about the end of your idyll. The beautifully redesigned rail terminus at London Kings Cross is also marred by these looped warning messages droning on.

    Like

  15. Lottie Nevin Says:

    It sounds to me like you two need to move to Bali, or somewhere at least where people smile and the weather is good. You can’t spend the best years of your life surrounded by unsmiling, miserable people. Sell the house, get Milo a passport and find a smiley, happy place to live, love and write your book.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It’s always hard to come back after having had such a grand experience. Viva Bali!

    Like

  17. Master of Something Yet Says:

    Ooh, those post-holiday reality blues. They’ll get you every time.

    I am now nervous about my pending journey from the same airport tomorrow. Last time was five years ago and I don’t remember what we did. Perhaps I have blocked it out.

    Like

  18. Andrew Says:

    We went to Sydney for our honeymoon. The airport was dour and unwelcoming but after that we enjoyed Australia. Many years before I got Yvonne Goolagong’s autograph at Uluru. So the country will always have a soft spot in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Patti Kuche Says:

    I thought Australians were supposed to be universal best friends with everyone!

    Like

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