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A Motley Collection

January 3, 2012

Who are my fellow travellers? An interesting bunch. A family of six aboriginal children who jump and jive, whose twinkle in their eye hint at a suppressed  joie de vivre, at least for the purpose of the trip. A part time goth that looks like she could use a good feed. Part time because her hair is tied up in a gorgeous knot with her black hair undermined by a nice brown wash. But she wears pale makeup and black eyeliner and fingernail polish. Skinny as a rake, she looks like she has rickets. Maybe she has. Grandma in her blue rinse hairdo working through the latest Womans Weekly and Who magazines. A lank haired dark tanned, indolent, middle-aged guy with his baseball cap reversed. He’s agitated about something. Paces backwards and forwards in a bundle of nervous energy. Leaps off the bus at the first hint and lights up his durry. A thirteen year old boy who looked all cock-a-hoop with his mates before climbing aboard but now just looks like a lost thirteen year old being sent off to stay with his Dad for the holidays.  A thick set fifty-something year old woman who has made friends with the reversed baseball cap. She is smoker too. Her skin folds down over her knees. What has that got to do with anything? No idea except she has a generally unkempt look about her Which goes for about 25% of this population. Or more. Another older woman looks less like a barrel and more like a rake. She spends the trip playing patience on her laptop.  Every wrinkled finger is adorned with heavy gold rings. A couple of girlfriends in late teens or early twenties in summer gear suited to the season, but not their figures, tumble in and out at each stop too. One of them is a chain smoker it seems, and she is finding the trip a chore. The first stop is announced and she lets out a woop of delight. The stop wasn’t that inspiring but her lungs must have thought so. A small smattering of very elderly couples who look like they would rather be somewhere else. Where are their families? Are the beyond driving themselves? No friends or family to help them or are they just fiercely independent? A gentle giant of a young man who shambles up and down the aisle apologizing for something. I wonder if he is on dope. He seems like a nice guy. Port Augusta starts to take shape on the horizon – or rather the power station and its tall stack . Not long now.

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