The single cab work Ute pulls up. Rushed goodbyes and a scramble for suitcases. Look up. Shit, wrong station. Up the stairs, heavy luggage. Down to this platform, will get us there still. A friendly stranger says; “Not this one, you want the platform over there.”
Back up stairs. One by one, bump, thump, thud. Down more stairs. Tired arms, hot face, right platform. Ahh, good. Thirty-five, no breeze, hot.
“Go for coke?”
Damn, sold out. Over to next platform. Sold out there too. Trains coming, running, faster, made it – just. Sweat pours from body. No conditioning, Forty in here, hottest train ever. Hottest day ever. Waiting, waiting, next stop; Parramatta. Good. Doors open, people flood in. Time to get out. Conductor asks “Where to?”
“Best you get back on again, other one is running late.”
Damn. Back on, between closing doors. Thirsty, tired, hot. Long ride, then Central Station. Haul suitcases off again. Down steps, hang on; wrong exit. Shit. Back up steps. So tired, so sore. Look for sign; Airport that way. Down more stairs, along corridor. Into lift. Platform 23, at last. Grab a drink, pay lady. Train is here, run. Made it, drag suitcase behind. Find seat. Quick ride this time, two stops then airport. Get off, up to ticket booth. Hand ticket to lady.
“Sorry, wrong ticket.”
“Go and buy a ticket. There’s yours back.”
“Don’t need that, leaving the country.”
“Tell you what, go through.”
Heave luggage up escalator, don’t let it fall. Into lift, then search check-in. Counter G- something. There it is, join the queue. Waiting, waiting, more waiting. Nearly there. Glance at the flight number, SK420 – Ticket says SK428. Strange. Look at ticket again.