Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


The Manly Ferry Cuts Its Way To Circular Quay

Stateside with Rosalea

Getting Around

I woke at 4 this morning, and when I got around to turning on the telly the US ABC news was on, complete with a ticker announcing Alistair Cooke's death. The 717 hours of his 15-minute weekly BBC radio show Letter from America probably did more to make the United States fathomable and palatable to English-speaking nations around the world than any other piece of media. It always astonished me that he could keep seeing the States with a stranger's wry eyes for so long.

Peter Ustinov, another wry old wit, died this week too, his work for UNICEF rightly remembered as his greatest contribution in a life lived well. And in a totally unrelated bit of news, Washington DC's famous cherry trees are in bloom. I was actually going to be there this weekend to see them, but instead I'm in a city still full of summer, watching dawn arrive over Hyde Park and the blue and white buses roar by.

Many of those buses are powered by natural gas, but the more curious thing to me is that on the two occasions I've boarded one to go from where I'm staying to the hospice my friend is in, the drivers have expressed incredulity that I'm going to take the bus to go only three stops. Well, the first time I got on, I didn't know that my destination was only three stops away, and the second time it was too damned hot to walk up hill in the middle of the day. They don't seem to be being rude; just trying to save me money.

The stops are much farther apart here, and you actually pay money to the bus driver, which is not an option where I come from in the States. There, you have to put the right fare in the fare box, and the only time the driver speaks to you is to tell you off for bringing a coffee on board. Unless you say good morning and smile, acknowledging a fellow human being doing a job you depend on. But even then, you risk getting no reply and a surly look.

My only other bits of public transit travel so far have been a monorail ride around the city center to get the lay of the land, and an evening rush hour underground trip out to Bondi Junction. On the latter, a gentleman with a large bag was sitting opposite us yelling in a strange language at nobody in particular but looking very menacing. On the former, a giggle of eight-year-olds got on, accompanied by three mums as they went on a field trip. Their school uniforms proclaimed they were from the Holy Saviour School, and at first I thought they were Italian, but when their mums had some of their conversations in Arabic, I figured they were probably from Lebanon. Fifth generation Aussies by now, I should think.

Time to go - Manly ferry, here I come!


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news