It's surprising how things turn out in the end. If a certain parcel delivery company - lets just call them EdFex for now - had actually attempted to deliver my parcel, none of Tuesday's events would've happened (except for the new toy part, of course).
So it's Monday afternoon and I'm rapidly hitting F5 on EdFex's parcel tracking website, waiting to see when my new phone will be arriving, and it would appear that rather than get out of his comfy delivery van, Mr. Fex decides to just say that the customer was not in, and I was left feeling like a small child who was naughty at Christmas time and ended up without a present. No big deal - a quick call to EdFex's depot and we've arranged for yours truly to trek out into the middle of a not-too-nearby industrial estate on his day off and collect it himself.
So a bus, train (the first one I missed due to my nicotine addiction and the No Smoking policy on all Transperth property), then another bus journey and a small walk and 2 hours later I'm the proud owner of a Google Nexus 4. Hooray!
I've had a bee in my bonnet for a while about smartphones and how people are permanently glued to their screens, heads down and not paying attention to the real world that surrounds them, but I will admit that the devices do make life a lot easier and a whole lot more interesting while they're at it. So I succumbed and made a purchase that will hopefully let me continue on my current addiction of consolidation and selling things that are dear to me: Desktop PC replaced by laptop, 5.1 Surround system replaced by TV with built-in speakers, DVDs replaced with digital media. Why have a mobile phone *and* a tablet when you can have a phone with a large enough screen to do pretty much everything you need to on one device.
And of course, no day out on Perth's public transport system would be complete without the introduction of close-quarters random strangers. As a single heterosexual male I sometimes look forward (in a non-creepy way because I am also unreservedly "English") to being within unavoidable eye-contact distance of the plentiful supply of good looking females of the city, but also having luck like mine I usually end up with what the rest of car 2 of a 3-car train was subjected to on a random Tuesday morning whizzing out of Perth train station.
The closest I can come to describing the family of 5 that were occupying a good 8 or 9 seats not too far away from where I was sitting, is the Australian version of Frank Gallagher and the rest of the 'Shameless' crew. Suspicions were raised before I even entered the train as I witnessed a small child swinging dangerously close to the emergency exit button by the door, looking wide-eyed and anxiously up and down the platform presumably for any approaching security staff. However I was keen to get home and start tinkering with my new toy so I boarded the train and sat down, keeping the (thankfully) plain brown box rather close to me and within constant eye-sight.
Opposite me was a semi-respectable middle-aged lady surrounded by children between the ages of roughly 10 and 14. First impressions are that this lady is talking to them as though she is one of them - dropping the occasional F-bomb and poking fun at the boy who tried to stand on the seat on one leg but fell over as the train began its (thankfully) short journey.
What ensued was the most colourful and detailed description of the sex life of a teenager that would make a Sailor blush. Passengers shifted nervously (and pretended to be interested in their mobile phones strangely enough) as the semi-respectable lady loudly and proudly informed her daughter what she used to get up to at her age, all the people she used to get up to it with, and what substances she was on at the time. Oh joy.
Because of the stunned silence you could now hear the sighs of relief from fellow passengers as the Gallagher family alighted at the second stop, pausing only to stare back at the passengers still on the train, before hocking a huge green blob onto the pavement for the cleaner to deal with later.
I was tempted to look around and say something funny to break the silence, like "Model Citizens..." in the way that Dr Silberman does in Terminator 2 as Sarah Conner is wheeled away after a particularly psychotic outburst, but I got the feeling that a dodgy-looking bloke with scruffy clothes, a scruffy beard to match and a non-descript brown box clutched tightly to his chest muttering movie quotes would create even more unease among the shocked commuters after that episode, so I kept schtum.
So compared to last week, today has been quite interesting. What started out as an expected delivery turned into a 4-hour round trip on public transport, finding a nice cafe in the middle of an industrial park, and a close encounter of the Turd kind.
I love days off...