at Bondi Junction’s bus terminus, a lady with crinkly grocery bags tries to cut the queue, saying “i’ve been waiting for over an hour! over there!!”

i ask if she wants to go back to where she (says she) came from? —”it’s fine!”— and she stops trying to push me aside and wedges, instead, behind me.

everyone in Sydney is trying to reach Bondi Beach for the world’s biggest one-day kite festival.

everyone except that lady, who alights far from the coastline to return home: if i, too, had to wait for over thirty absurd minutes because everyone and their prams and cameras and unwieldy sunhats had ‘Sunday plans’, i might have done something equally desperate and despicable such as walking.

which is what rejected passengers end up doing.

a few stops before the sea, a woman doesn’t seem angry when she waves at our conductor, halted by traffic, and is ignored by the unmoving bus doors.

she is young and flushed from the 24-degree sunshine, some of her long, curly hair trapped under a unlabelled drawstring bag.

two other ladies watch her continue her brisk walk, themselves in less skin-skimming outfits: a billowy jumpsuit, a flowing blouse. they eye her bum, where a bikini bottom pushes up her grey dress in an outline.

i watch them all.

later, when i am in line for Hungarian pinwheel-sausage-burgers, i cannot help but see a pooch stare at another friendly dog: snappishly or enviously?

somehow, i suspect it’s more of the former.

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