Sydney has banished raucous commuting. On suburban trains half the carriages are designated quiet. Mobile phones must go to silent, chitchat is prohibited and music cannot leak from ear buds.
Woe betides anyone who flouts these rules.
Whisper above the ambient ‘clickety-clack’ and a death stare will burn the back of your head. Carry on talking and there will be an indignant tap on the shoulder from an angry passenger about to shower vitriol on your flouting of the rules.
Not far under the surface of everyone is an authoritarian. Barely hidden is an alter ego itching to call chancers to task — to meet out justice onto anyone who fails to conform. The gusto with which this persona breaks out will scare more than the horses.
Harmless looking women of a certain age explode at a blip above a murmur. Anyone daring to select Powderfinger on their Bose’s have no idea of the terror that awaits them in the quiet carriage.
Stares and shoulder taps are just the beginning.
In a few bars they are hounded into submission. It is a wonder to behold.
Shame nobody called to task the hefty dude who fell asleep on the 06:44 to central.
His snoring had no place on the quiet carriage.