In the early hours of the day, I can sometimes be the only person in a nearly-full train carriage who is not wearing steel capped boots or anything hi-vis. I’m surrounded by tradies heading to their job sites. Many are sleeping; some are not. And on the way home, there’s always a tradie or two kicking back after a hard day. When I went back through my Trainland observations, tradies featured so heavily that I figured they deserved their own special edition.

Feet on Seats

This gentleman had clearly had a hard day on-site and just wanted to put his feet up and relax. So he did. His feet were comfortably resting on the seat opposite his. When I say feet, I mean that literally. He had removed his boots and elevated his bared soles. I don’t know if this is better or worse than propping your shoes on a seat, but I’m leaning towards worse.

tradie boots

Please, leave them ON when you’re on public transport!

Morning Nap

In fairness, it was before 6 am on one of the coldest days so far this winter. More than half of my carriage were tucked up cosily, heads resting on windows, dozing. A couple were curled up on three-seaters, heads on backpacks, sound asleep. A tradie in front of me was seated with his back turned, half resting against the window. He was snoring like a congested elephant; I thought I might have to change carriages to get away from the noise.

tradie snoozing

Suddenly, he let out a startlingly loud snort. So startling that he woke himself up. His head whipped around, looking accusingly at the other people on board. I turned my laugh into a cough, to be polite. That earned me a suspicious look before he went back to sleep.

Confusing Couture

Spotted boarding a train one afternoon, this man was wearing camouflage pants with a fluorescent yellow hi-vis work shirt. Did he want to be seen, or not?

tradie wearing confusing outfit

Snuggle up!

An older guy, in his tradie work gear with a big jacket and beanie, snoozing with his head against the window. Younger man in a sharp suit and scarf sits next to him, begins tapping away on a laptop. Sleeping guy does the equivalent of turning in his sleep- hard to do when seated on a chair. Ends up with his head gently resting on Sharp Suit’s shoulder. Sharp Suit looks startled for a second then goes back to his laptop. Sydneysiders have a bit of a rep for being unfriendly arseholes but Sharp Suit proves that we’re not all bad!

tradie suit

Entirely gratuitous gif of Ian Somerhalder because he’s wearing a suit here. You’re welcome.

A Bakery and A Holiday

These two tradies were having a lovely catch up at 5 am in my carriage. I was the only other person awake on board, so it was hard not to hear their conversation. Apparently, they both frequent the same bakery. The man that works there has started behaving strangely, according to this snippet:

Tradie #1:”Cunt’s fuckin lost it. Silly as a cut snake- he tried to fight me! How do people like him even get jobs?!”
Tradie #2: “I know, mate! And *good* jobs like that, too!”

There’s nothing wrong with working in a bakery. If I worked in one, I’d die a premature death from carb overload. I just had no idea bakery work was something a tradie might aspire to. That aside, I am kind of concerned that there’s a bakery attendant out there ready to fight the next tradie who stops in for a meat pie.

The same guys then started chatting about the upcoming holiday that Tradie #1 has planned.

Tradie #1: “We’re going to the US. Can’t wait to get on a fan boat!”
Tradie #2: “A what?!”
Tradie #1: “A fan boat. If you don’t know what it is, I don’t know how else to explain it”

tradie talking fanboats


(This back-and-forth actually went on for a lot longer but I edited it for brevity here.)
Tradie #2: “You mean a hydrofoil?”
Tradie #1: “No. Fanboat.”
Tradie #2: “Hovercraft?”
Tradie #1: “FANBOAT.”

(Meanwhile, I am dying of repressed laughter.)
(Tradie #1 Googles pics to show his mate)
Tradie #2: “That’s just a normal boat…with a fan on it”
Tradie #1: “Yeah… A fanboat!”

Have you had any public transport adventures lately?


See the first installment of Adventures In Trainland here.


Gifs via Giphy.

Cover image: My own.

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  • I always did the public transport thing when I lived in Brisbane – bus for a while and then (for a year or two before I left) train, when I moved jobs. I’ve also caught trains elsewhere though and I remember in Sydney being a bit gobsmacked at the grottiness of the trains. In Brisbane you aren’t allowed to eat or drink on public transport (and definitely no feet on seats) so I was surprised to see people eating on suburban Sydney trains. I’ve only been on buses in Melbourne so can’t quite remember what the rules are….

    I’m now in my little seachange town and don’t miss the commute at all, though we do have a bus system of sorts, I’d hate to have to rely on it. #teamlovinlife

  • Kathy Marris

    Ha ha! Your early morning train observations are hilarious! Isn’t people-watching the best thing about train travel? There are some od-bods out there. #TeamLovinLife

  • Magda J Mitchell

    Overhearing train conversations is the best insight into other people and the way they live.

  • writeofthemiddle

    OMG you never fail to have me laughing out loud! We need more of these posts. Actually, I could tell a thing or two from all the years of commuting on a train too! Hilarious! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  • LydiaCLee

    I love the fanboat conversation. I hope it meets his expectations

  • Love the camo and high vis 🙂 Trainland tradies sounds a lot like when I worked in mining, when I had to travel to other cities for the day for meetings I was the only one on the plane not in high vis!

  • Helen King

    Love it! (I am now a public transport user too, again, and I do find it entertaining – including my recent regional travels for work. Takes it to another level 🙂 )

  • Love it. My fave is the camo & hi vis…& the fa boat. Public transport provides both inspiration & desperation. #TeamLovinLife

  • LOL! Camo and high vis. ROFL.

  • Hilarious! Loved the conversation about the fan boat – pretty hard not to ROFL!!! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  • I always sit in the Quiet Carriage in the hopes that I don’t have to listen to music or other peoples’ conversations or kids crying – it’s never lived up to its name though!