Saturday, November 25, 2006


I am constantly making comparisons between Australian and Canada. Sometimes my observations could be deemed overly judgmental and so I generally keep them to myself. Like the other day while I was riding one of the city buses I noticed a number of kids get on in their school uniforms. It isn’t the norm for me to be riding a bus at that time of day but I have seen school kids on the trains. In that case though they are most likely high school age and much older than these bus kids. The train kids are loud and noisy as they flirt with and tease one another but they are generally well behaved although I have seen the occasional leftover sandwich get thrown at a head.

But the bus kids, I would guess, were about 7 or 8 years old. A few of them perhaps even younger. They were running through the aisles, jumping on the seats and swinging on the poles. I can’t be certain that this is normal post school bus riding behaviour. But the bus driver just seemed to ignore it which leads me to believe it was nothing out of the ordinary.

So this all of course leads my judgmental mind to scream why are these young kids allowed to ride these buses unsupervised? You see here in Australia, at least within the urban areas, there are no official school buses. Children use public transit as a means of traveling to and from school. I recall from my school bus riding day bus patrols who yelled if your hand snuck its way into the aisle.

I can’t understand how if children are always riding the bus in this way that countless injuries are not occurring on a daily basis throughout the city. It would only take one dire injury for the city to be outraged at the lack of responsidiblity and foresight on the part of the Brisbane City Transportation authority. And if this is the case why don't the authorities have some foresight?

So the score on the safe school bus transportation issue. Canada 1 Australia 0

Other recent judgmental observations of note:
Enacting water conservation tactics before running into the worst drought on record. Canada 1 Australia 0
Having a midweek day of celebration where everyone plays hooky from work to watch a horse race while eating and drinking excessively. Canada 0 Australia 1.
Ability to sit on a patio and enjoy a cold beer 12 months of the year. Canada 0 Australia 1.
Tim Tams. Canada 0. Australia 1.

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