Nothing is new

George Street, Sydney as a de facto trams-only pedestrian plaza in 1952
(Fairfax photo). It was like a flood washing across the street. Most of it
passed across in front of and behind the tram. Those in line with the tram
simply boarded it (and as far as I know didn't reappear out the other
side). That's how it seemed. Nowadays the tram is more of an obstacle - the
Great Wall of Tram.

Jaywalking was a time-honoured tradition in Sydney and the very relaxed
police seemed to have no interest in it. I was an enthusiastic participant
in it as well. Imagine my surprise when I started living in Melbourne and
found all these people dutifully lined up at traffic lights on streets that
were so empty that you could fire a cannon down them. Was I in Germany I
thought? Then one day somebody shouted at me for ignoring the light and
setting sail across the empty street, confirming that I must indeed have
been in Germany.

In hindsight, I can see that Melbournians were in fact preparing themselves
well for the days of total control over every aspect of our lives that we
now live in. I'm too old now to have the necessary quick reflexes needed

Tony P

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