Posts Tagged ‘staines’

Slow Train to London

1 February 2009

It’s like the Midnight Train to Georgia, but a whole lot less fun.

Yesterday, a bunch of RoHo homies and I hit up London for the day. We unfortunately ended up on the aforementioned Slow Train to London that makes a ton of stops and takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, instead of the usually 45ish. The good news is when you travel in multiples of four (like 8 for example), you can get tickets for heaps (note: this is my new favorite word) cheaper. So it was 5.90 for roundtrip train travel AND unlimited tube use for the day.

The fine print of this arrangement, however, is that you’re “supposed to always travel with you group,” and if they catch you doing otherwise, you can be fined 20 quid EACH. Obviously, we did split up over the course of the day when people wanted to do different things, and I stealthily avoided detection by those super helpful (yet potentially deadly) station workers who hang around by the turnstiles. In case of emergency, I was fully prepared to say I was lost from my group and trying to find them and please don’t fine me, topped off with an appropriate amount of tears.

We spent most of the afternoon wandering around Camden Market.jan-31-009On the street.

jan-31-0011Looking down at a very small fraction of the sellers.

jan-31-008Camden Lock. 

There’s a TON of stuff to look at it, but I wasn’t entirely sure if I was scene/goth/indie/cool/hippee enough to be there at times. It was after that when people started splitting up, and I went to Islington to hang with Grace and Tyler for dinner. And watch a rather terrible television adaptation of Arabian Nights/Aladdin.

Working back through the week, on Friday I went to Staines on my quest for a new umbrella with a push button/automatic opening thing. Seems like a simple quest, right? You’d think ENGLAND of all places would have a huge selection of umbrellas meeting a variety of specifications. But NO! Eventually, I gave up and just bought another cute manual one, and naturally, found a push button one 30 mins later walking past a sporting store off of High Street. Oh well. Also, it was during this time that we discovered the mysteries of bags of milk. Apparently these are completely normal in places like Canada.

Thursday I also spent in London, hanging out with Beefeaters, ravens, The Crown Jewels, and Colin at the Tower of London.jan-29-050

The rest of the pictures are here, with incredibly detailed captions in which I attempt to impart some of the wisdom I gained while on the tour. 

In conclusion, I have a date with Ruth.

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Orange Wednesdays and Public Transport

24 January 2009

Have I mentioned that the lights in the hall in my flat are motion-activated? It’s very green, actually, so that when there’s no one out there, the lights automatically turn off without having to worry about switches and all that. And when you open the door, they come on within a second or two.

I’ve started playing this very exciting game called “Try To Get to the Kitchen from My Room Without Activating the Motion Detector Lights.” My room is like 1 or 2 feet from the kitchen door, so you’d think I might be able to dart out fast enough, but I ALWAYS LOSE. Sometimes, I’ll think I’ve almost made it, and I’m actually within the realm of the kitchen, but then the LIGHT TURNS ON BEHIND ME! I think I may try a new strategy of going super slow to see if that works any better.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Wow. She’s finally lost it. It was touch and go there for awhile, but no, now it’s definitely gone,” but YOU MUST UNDERSTAND what constant cloud cover and darkness and fog can do to a person.

Anyway.

My mobile is on the Orange network, and they offer this super awesome “Orange Wednesdays” deal where you can get 2 for 1 cinema tickets. Groovy, right? On Wednesday, my friend Victoria and I went to Staines (the next town over) to try and take advantage of that awesomeness. And lo and behold, student tickets are only 5.85…divide that by two, and it equals supercheap! So we’re all “la la la that was awesome and cheap!” and leave the theater afterward and THEN

1. It’s pouring rain and windy as all get out. My umbrella flips inside out and dies (I fixed it a little but it’s still kind of dead).
2. We go back to the bus stop and check the time of the next bus, which of course, was coming in negative an hour and 20 mins.

That’s right. The last bus leaves around 10:30pm, and it was 11:50. Oops! The pub across the street directed us to a taxi stand right around the corner, which was literally a hole in the wall. Seriously. A hole. With 3 chairs and a door. There was already a man waiting with a pizza, and we were soon joined by 5 drunkish 30somethings, which makes for a very crowded hole. One of the guys offered me a pound to either sit in my chair or my lap, I’m not quite sure which. The same guy also did the Incredibly Distasteful Act of hailing a random taxi from the street while simultaneously waiting at a taxi stand. This rather angered the Taxi Man, who used some colourful racial language to describe the typical driver of said cab.

After all that, the drunks left, and a driver finally showed up. We shared a taxi with Pizza Man back to RoHo (Royal Holloway) because apparently it was all in the same direction, and Taxi Man felt bad about us having to wait.

In the end, it turned out jolly good, and we learned the invaluable Thou Shalt Not Stay Out Past 22:30 on Small Town Surrey Weeknights lesson. Because after that Cinderella-esque hour, it’s only pizza eaters and drunks who roam the streets.