I’m vaguely considering doing Round The Bays this year. I did it in ’00 and ’01, but I forgot last year.

It was fun the first time, but the second time I got really sick of seeing all the stupid company t-shirts printed up for the occasion. Fictitious example “J J Bowman Printing (1987) Ltd says “Go for it team!” Round the Bays 2003. Printing excellence”.

I’m thinking that it might be better to just pick a nice afternoon and walk there. I walked to Mission Bay once, but I got the bus back because it was getting late.

Speaking of public transport, here’s another Big Day Out story:

I decided to get the train to BDO because I live within walking distance of the Mt Eden train station. I’d never used Auckland’s passenger train system before. I arrived at Mt Eden train station and was faced with a bleak, urban landscape. No, really.

Half the platform had been covered in asphalt, the rest was in rubblely concrete. There was a sign that I assume had once had “MOUNT EDEN” painted on it, but had since been painted completely black. There was one shelter with a decent amount of seats, but it looked like it had been graffitied and set on fire, painted, and repainted many time. I saw about five different colours of flaked paint on the seat. The bleakness was briefly broken by some interesting graffiti on the walls of the neighbouring buildings.

Me and my fellow passengers waited, and soon a train came along. It was really full, but I managed to find a carriage. I noticed that some stations had signs, others didn’t. Eventually the train arrived at the bleak, desolate Penrose station.

Is it too much to expect a train system like the ones in Sydney and Melbourne? Is it an extravagant luxury to have timetables, a few signs showing the station names, non-vandalised shelters and stations that feel safe and inviting?