The day Sydney had no buses, and I had no car

I had to take our car in for a service, and although I was aware of the bus drivers’ strike I hadn’t really thought through the logistics. I was extremely fortunate at 8am, after finding that I could not get a phone call through to book a taxi home and therefore looking at a 3 mile walk back home (thank FSM for sensible shoes), to have a vacant taxi pull up beside me at the pedestrian crossing at the lights only 50m down the road from the mechanic. So I got home OK for the morning.

At lunchtime they rang to say the car was ready to pick up. I managed to get a phone call through to book a taxi this time. Problem was, after half an hour no taxi had showed up – and when I tried to ring to see why not, I could no longer get through. So after waiting another 10 minutes I walked a few blocks to the main road. All the taxis were engaged. I walked a bit further, and saw a woman also trying to flag down taxis. She had suitcases, and looked a lot more agitated than I felt.

It transpired that she was late for arriving at the airport. Check-in was closing within minutes. Similar story – the taxi she booked just didn’t turn up, so she’d driven a few miles from her place to the Princes Highway, hoping to find a vacant taxi there. No luck. I said that I although I’d originally thought she might be someone to share a taxi with, I was fine with her catching the first cab on her own – her needs were so much more urgent than mine. Minutes passed – still no taxi would stop.

Long story short (too late?) – 15 minutes later she was trying to check in at the airport having entrusted her car to a stranger (that would be me) on the understanding that I would drive her car back to my place and park it in the street outside while she was away. It ended up that she had missed that flight, so she took about 10 minutes to book another flight for a few hours later while I drove the airport circuit to come around to the terminal again to pick her up. Then we drove a few miles north to pick up my car, then she followed me back to my place and parked her car just down the road, and I drove her to the airport again in my car. She should be landing at Tullamarine shortly.

In the course of this shared adventure, we had a fair amount of time to chat about this and that, and I think I may have made a new friend. I hope J has a lovely time down south for the next few days with her friend and her friend’s brand new twin babies.



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10 replies

  1. File this one under “faith in humanity.” I think that’s really lovely. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Mindy beat me to it. Though to be honest, I was going to say, “TT – you are a champion!”

  3. It was hardly a hardship! Don’t forget that I ended up getting a lift to pick up my car out of it as well.
    She was so distressed, I simply couldn’t stand by without offering to help out, and I had the time to spare. I was hesitant about offering to help at first, being A COMPLETE STRANGER and all, but I’m glad that I pushed through that.

  4. Neighbors helping neighbors. I love it.

  5. I’m almost tempted to wish the busses go on strike more often if it leads to this kind of thing.

  6. What Quixotess said.

  7. I really like this story.

  8. This post made me smile. Thank you! 🙂

  9. Tigtog, that is one of the small but telling kindnesses that one remembers for a lifetime.

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