10 August 2007

Another trip on the Road to Nowhere

"I broke out into a cold sweat, my mouth became dry.....would I see Bree coming around the corner with a basket of cookies?"

There I was busy at work when I received a phone call from my wife. After exchanging pleasantries, my wife informed me that “we are going to Beaumont Hills tonight to visit Dad’s friend. Can you catch public transport and we will meet you there” Just to backtrack slightly, my father-in-law was staying with us for a few days having flown from BrisVegas to pay us a visit.

My first thought was where is Beaumont Hills? I had lived in Sydney for close to 20 years and had not heard of it. Anyway, a quick search revealed that it was close to Kellyville. KELLYVILLE! That could only mean one thing…another trip on the “road to nowhere”. I broke out into a cold sweat, my mouth became dry and my heart started beating faster. Surely not another bus trip on the infamous 610X!

For those of you not aware of this adventure read my earlier blog “the road to nowhere

My worst suspicions were confirmed. I would need to catch a bus to Beaumont Hills. This time though it would be the 617X and not the 610X. Would the fact that the bus number ended in a seven rather than a zero make my journey any easier? Only time would tell.

I researched the route and armed with a timetable waited for the 617X to arrive. It pulled up to the bus stop and I got on. I nervously asked for a ticket to Beaumont Hills expecting the bus driver to tell me that I was on the wrong bus (as per the last bus trip). However, he said in broken English “$5.60, mate”. I took the ticket and tentatively found a seat that gave me a great view of the road ahead.

The journey itself was fairly pleasant except for when the bus braked hard and nearly hit the car in front of us. While on the bus my wife rang me to tell me they were delayed and for me to get off at Beaumont Hills and find a café or something similar and wait for a while. I would then get picked up and we would all drive to our destination. It seemed a great idea at the time. Every suburb in Sydney has cafes, shops etc. I could easily keep myself entertained for 20 minutes.

How wrong was I to be!

I got off at a bus stop and really thought I had entered the Twilight Zone. My first thought was that I had been transported to mid America – the home of the nuclear family, the white picket fence, gleaming white teeth and immaculate hair. I pinched myself to see if I was awake. I was – though my arm was now hurting. The next thought was am I really in Sydney?

The first impression that I got was where had all the lamp posts gone to. It was soooo dark. Maybe alien forces from a planet outside of our solar system was collecting them like some people collect stamps. Also, aside from the wonderfully huge houses, all the lawns were immaculately kept. It must have been bin night as all bins were out, facing the same way and definitely not overflowing (like where I live). There was no rubbish dancing down the road and certainly no sign of graffiti. Even the school looked like a erm school!

I decided to walk around trying to find an elusive café or shop or something similar. All I found was houses, houses and even more houses. Doesn’t anyone in this suburb drink coffee? I thought. Suddenly it dawned on me as the second jogger passed me in an immaculate tracksuit. I am really in Stepford! My imagination was starting to run wild as I got a vision of these ‘perfect’ Stepford Wives in their floral dresses preparing an equally bland meal for their husbands and children. In fact, the area also gave me the impression of Desperate Housewives. Would I see Bree coming around the corner with a basket of cookies?

I was brought back to reality by the ringing of my mobile phone. My wife had got lost and wanted my help. The only problem with that was that I wasn’t sure I was in Sydney! Anyway, despite a creek cutting the road into two my wife finally found the correct route and picked me up. We then drove to our destination down extremely dimly lit streets.

As for the rest of the night we had a great time! My father-in-law’s friend's family was really nice and the Indian food was superb! Also, I didn’t notice any home made cookies sitting in a basket so that was very comforting - especially to me.

All in all, a surreal experience that ended well.

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