The 109 tram was pretty crowded by the time it got to Elizabeth Street but I found a seat up the back next to a boy who was also on his way home to Port Melbourne. He was sitting separately from his friend and they were enjoying looking at each other and having a bit of a laugh.He was in shorts and a teeshirt and I vaguely wondered why he wasn’t at school.
The tram gradually emptied as it got closer to the Port. I noticed a little flurry and realized that a Ticket Inspector was working his way towards us.His reader okayed my Mykie and the boy passed him one of two cards he was holding.
‘It mightn’t have anything on it,’ he said.
The inspector read it.
‘No. Nothing on this. Hasn’t been used since June.’
‘Try this one then.’ The second card was passed across.
‘No, mate. This one hasn’t been used since March.’
Hmm. How’s this going to work out , I thought.
‘How old are you, mate?’ asked the inspector, keeping it all low key.
In the meantime, the young man in a suit across the aisle from me, had snuck round the back of the Inspector and validated his Myki. He took another card from his wallet, handed it across me to the boy and said,’Try this.’
The boy passed it to the Inspector, it read safely and was handed back to the boy. The Inspector moved on.
The boy passed the card back across me to the young man.
A stop later, I turned to the boy, smiled, and said,’That was lucky.’
‘Yes. Mum would have killed me.’
‘I bet she would. I bet she’s given you money to top up, too!’
‘Yeah!’ he giggled.
We all smiled.