Which tram traveller are you?

FROM The Sleeper to The Talker, there are all sorts of characters riding Melbourne’s trams. Marcella Purnama & Kenneth Leow take a look at some of them.

If you’re a student, odds are you catch the tram. And odds are you’re one of those people who read during the journey. Or maybe you’re the one who wears huge earphones, listening to techno beats. Or the one who talks non-stop. Or the one who steals a brief power nap, sometimes wearing sunglasses so no one will know you’re asleep.

There are many types of tram travellers, but they seem to all fall within these typical categories – and odds are, you do too.

Here are Marcella Purnam’s observations of the six different types of tram travellers. Which one are you?

Type 1: The Book Geek

These tram travellers take the extra effort to bring a 300g book around with them, despite the added weight to their bags. They are the people I envy the most, because they look so intellectual and are able to fully maximise their free time (they read books, on trams. Isn’t it self-explanatory?). These travellers are usually women, in their late 20′s or 30′s, or men in their 30′s, and most of them seem to have decent, professional jobs.

Type 2: The One Listening to Loud Music

These people are usually men in their early 20s, often dressed quite fashionably. They are used to listening to music at a very loud volume – so loud the person sitting next to them can hear it. My best guess is they are the cool people – the ones who don’t give a second thought about what other people think.

Type 3: The Talker

The Talkers are the ones who can’t be silent. They easily make conversation with anyone who looks friendly – even when you’re not in the mood to talk to them. They can be either male and female, and are either loud, high school students, or members of the ‘older generation’ (think of those in their mid-30s). They’re also often annoying, or kind-hearted. Depending on which one, you can give them a writhing look or wait for someone to ask them to keep their voices down. Or you can put on a mask and keep on smiling through their chatter.

Type 4: The Sleeper

This type of traveller sleeps every time he or she is on a tram. They may use sunglasses to camouflage their lack of alertness, or they’re usually spotted leaning against a window. They can be both males or females, and their characteristics often vary greatly. Odds are, all we’ve all been this type of tram traveller least once.

Type 5: The Gadget User

Gadget addicts are usually Gen Y-ers and young professionals in their early 20′s who just got into the workforce. They’re the ones playing on their iPhones, iPads, Blackberries, and Smartphones. They may play games, read news, text their friends – but they’re mostly on Facebook. They’re constantly looking out the window, afraid of having missed their destination during their gadget-playing reverie.

Type 6: The Daydreamer

The Daydreamers are those who seem lost, across space and time. They sport empty expressions while they look outside the window or stare blankly at the person sitting across them. They make sudden movements – especially when they realise they missed their stop …three stops ago. Most tram travelers have been in this state at least once..

And last, but not least, there’s…

Type 7: The Fare Evader

Fare evaders are constantly keeping an eye on the people who board the tram, fearing they may be ticket inspectors. If that’s the case, evaders are usually fully prepared to step off as soon as the authorities step on. These travellers also feel relieved if there are many people travelling on their tram, because this means it’s less likely inspectors will check their tickets.

Do you agree with Marcella’s categories? Have you encountered different kinds of tram travellers?

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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