I had an appointment for an MRI at Prince of Wales will this afternoon. I must admit that I’m not really sure what the MRI is for. Doctors seem to require a battery of tests – last month I had a cat scan. After a while you tend to go along with the flow although I do think it would be wiser of me to have a better grip on what it is all for. My wife suggested the MRI was to make sure there was no tumours around the screws in my neck. She may be right, we shall see.

In any event, I left home at 1:10 PM and returned home at 4:30 PM having gone nowhere. For those of you familiar with the Sydney train system, I caught the train from Ingleburn intending to alight at Central only for the train to stop at East Hills. After waiting for about half an hour we were informed that a train further along the line had broken down. We were told that a bus would be replacing the train but after waiting for another half an hour it became clear I would never make my appointment. So, I asked the stationmaster how to get back to Ingleburn and he informed me to catch the next train south. Taking his advice I was helped on to the Silver rattler ( Sydney still has 50-year-old trains in service) which, it turned out, only travelled to Glenfield (two stops short of Ingleburn). Glenfield, however, is a station without handicap facilities (lifts or ramps) and the platform on which I had landed was not the one for the southbound train. so, what to do Mr stationmaster? Head back to East Hills of course!. Having taken that trip I waited for another train that did, eventually, get me home – catheter near to burst.

all in all about 3 1/2 hours going in circles to travel nowhere – and a rebooked MRI that could not be done until 30 April. in case you were wondering I was mostly polite to the rail staff (it’s not their fault) although I was pointlessly rude to the stationmaster who informed me that I had to return to East Hills for a second time.

Is there a lesson in all this? no. Just another pointless story that I am dumping into cyberspace.

8 Responses to “diary: public transport as a metaphor for life?”

  1. Sandra Godde

    Well Shane, you ask is there a lesson in all of this?

    Hmm…. you could have waited for the bus, proceeded to the Prince of Wales, and rocked up late for your appointment for the MRI. I wonder what would have happened then? Surely, they wouldn’t have turned you away? Maybe they would, I do not know. Curious to know though what would have happened if you made a different choice ….

    • Shane Clifton

      I called the hospital and there was no latitude on the time of the appointment. Such is life, gave me time to read a book

      • Sandra Godde

        Well that was un-graceful on their behalf, but at least you got to read 🙂 Lots of people would like more time to read … you’re a champ, keep pressing onward and upward.

  2. Elly Clifton

    Was the bus wheelchair enabled?

    I think there’s only one screw in your neck dear – well one plate with two screws.

    Frustrating waste of time, hope you had a good book to read!

    love ya

  3. Kirsten Hagan

    It may have been a pointless trip, but it wasn’t a pointless story. I like reading your blogs Shane:)

  4. Tanya Riches

    wow. How expensive are wheelchair taxis? If the trains break down, does State Rail not have a responsibility to help those in wheelchairs to their destination? Would they pay half or something? I wonder if you should send this to your local MP to ask them to investigate.

    • Shane Clifton

      we actually do get some discount on taxis – up to a maximum of $30. But a one-way trip to the hospital would still cost over $100 – so $200 return. The train trip costs me $2.50! To be honest, the trains are fairly reliable

  5. Tanya Riches

    (a bit of a pipedream but I’m in research mode… I’m so sorry your day sucked Shane).

Leave a Reply


1 2 3 18
March 23rd, 2019

Grace and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

September 27th, 2018

Year 12 graduation, parent’s tribute

October 1st, 2017

Million Dollar Baby: a film to love and hate

September 2nd, 2017

Just say hi?

June 22nd, 2017

Pauline Hanson and the politics of demonising difference

April 11th, 2017

Bottoms Up

January 1st, 2017

Wheelchair Adventures

September 2nd, 2016

“Yes I can,” Paralympics and the positivity myth

July 7th, 2016


July 7th, 2016

welcome home