Saturday, March 29, 2008

A reunion

Yesterday I travelled to Bayswater from Cockburn Central on the train. I had not used the smart-card system before, but found it easy and efficient. For some time the train system has lost lots of money because many passengers did not purchase tickets. Most of the stations were not fenced and passengers could merely walk off without paying.

The trip was also my first on the new Perth to Mandurah rail line. The train was smooth, fast and comfortable, however, all the windows were vandalised. There are cameras in every carriage and I fail to understand how the transit police cannot board the train at the next station and arrest the culprit(s). The transit police seemed to be in force at all stations during the day, but I wonder how many are on duty at night when the bad boys travel.

Reason for the train trip was a gathering of ex-PNG teachers. There were only six of us as most of the people returning from PNG service have settled on the Eastern seaboard, mainly in tropical Queensland. It was interesting to see the people who dominated the conversation and what they perceived to be interesting to others. I said that Joan and I were thinking of contacting as many ex-PNG teachers as possible asking for contributions of interesting stories for an anthology under suggested headings of: Isolation, Going Troppo, Missionaries, Sorcerers, Grog, Building Schools, Kiaps, Transport, Crocs, Villagers and Headmen, Illegal Liaisons etc. They seemed interested but would probably never get around to putting fingers to keyboard.

Only three of us had fully retired from the workforce. Peter has continued working in a variety of jobs and business enterprises and is now teaching English in Vietnam. He is immersed in the culture and seems very happy in this new work. Here in Perth he and his wife have a very nice home in a river-side suburb which he leaves again soon to spend the rest of the year in a crowded southern Vietnamese city where hardly anyone speaks English and Pete knows but a few words of Vietnamese. Good on him!

We have had another week of pain from our son.

1 comment:

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