Tag Archives: commute

Goodbye Durham!

30 Mar

The conference is finished and my long, protracted journey back to my lovely little flat is finished.  I’m back enjoying home comforts.  After a wonderful dinner of beef stew and dumplings (yum! yum!), I’m enjoying the quiet comfort. There’s something infinitely comforting about coming back to something wonderfully familiar.  I was tired but it was as if all my stresses just melted away the minute I stepped into the flat!

And to be quite honest, I was looking forward to sleeping in my own bed.  I was sleeping in student accommodation.  Now mind you, minus the TV, I think it could give the nearest single occupancy Premier Inn room a run for its money.  I’m not necessarily complaining.  But the walls were thin and there were far too many strange noises in the adjoining rooms.   And, let’s face it, there’s really nothing like sleeping in one’s own bed.

The conference seemed to be a success, although I wouldn’t suggest that venue again.  While I got a much-needed work out going up and down the hills of the University of Durham, it can be quite a chore.  It wasn’t a good feeling, feeling already tired before the day actually started.  A majorly major disappointment was that I didn’t get to see the Durham Cathedral.  I love visiting churches.  Every chance I get, when there’s a church or a small chapel, I go and look at it.  I don’t know why I’m so attached to churches   I only got to see the cathedral from afar.  I promised myself that I’d be able to visit the Durham Cathedral soon.  I would love to see this beautiful building up close and personal.

On the way back, I had to change trains at York.  I loved looking at the train stations on my way to Durham because the train stations looked beautiful with their tall arches.  I’m not sure what style the train station in York was, whether it Victoria, Georgian or Edwardian, but I loved the quaintness of it.

Anyway, while I was waiting for the train that was going to take me to London King’s Cross St. Pancras (where you can find Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4—if you’ve never been, there really is a Platform 9 3/4, with one half of a trolley still stuck to the wall!), I happened to look up and noticed the beautifully decorated arches.  Mind you, if I hadn’t just finished reading Philippa Gregory’s The White Queen, it wouldn’t have held as much significance to me.  It was the white flowers that caught my attention.  Then I noticed the coat of arms.  The white “flowers” were a representation of the white roses that the Yorkists wore during the War of the Roses (the war between the Yorks and the Lancasters).  I had to laugh at myself because there I was, clutching my little trolley case, smiling up at train station arches.  I must have looked so strange to the people walking past; this little weird Filipina (not that they would probably know I’m Filipino) smiling bizarrely at the train arches!  There is something to be said about reading books.  They make your surroundings come alive and become even more significant.  This is one of the reasons why I love living in England.  It is quite literally living in history.  I hope everyone in England appreciates how fortunate they are to be surrounded by so much history!



The daily commute: An Epilogue

25 Feb

I am writing because I’m venting.  I was absolutely livid earlier on the train, but I managed to hold my anger in.  If thoughts could kill, one of the Chatty Ladies, who shall now and forever be known as Lady Tosser (pun VERY much intended!) would be dead and cremated right now.  I should rein in the anger really because people like that are not worth any felony, mental or otherwise (I say mental because Ate Edna, who was our bible study leader in VCF always used to remind us that if we thought ill of other people, we were already committing murder.  And I was certainly committing murder at the time.  I am mortified that I’ve allowed someone to get the better of me!).

It makes me so mad to even remember what she did.  Now, I will admit that our mistake was to place our bag on the seat across from us so that we could sit down in relative comfort.  The seat was empty and the seat USUALLY stays empty, hence the bag on the seat.

Anyway, Lady Tosser gets on the train, and without so much as a by your leave, tosses our bag to the side and sits down on the seat.  I was shocked!  And then I was livid.  I have never been so absolutely infuriated by an absolute stranger.  And they say the British are polite and civilised individuals.  There will always be exceptions and Lady Tosser is the absolute exception to this rule.  She never even looked at us!  She just settles herself down, opens her paper and just reads.  Like we weren’t there.  And sorry, I’m going to put the race card on the table, but did she ignore us because we were Asian and we weren’t worth talking to?!?

Argh!  It’s getting to me again.  I should not let rude, uncivilised neanderthals get to me.  SHE IS NOT WORTH IT!

The daily commute

25 Feb

My commute to work is nothing but entertaining.  Mind you there are days (most days really!) that I long for quiet, uneventful trips to the office.  Because I’m on public transport, that is almost never possible.  There’s always someone talking really loudly, there’s always an argument going on, and there are always bizarrely intractable people getting on and off public transport.

I woke up this morning feeling mildly better (I’m trying to avoid this cold that’s been threatening to invade my system for nearly a week now) this morning.  It was slightly overcast, but it wasn’t raining so that in itself was a blessing.  I managed to get ready (shower, hair—which takes at least 20 minutes to do now, after I had my haircut!–and make up–not that I slap on too much, mind, it’s just moisturizer, liquid foundation, eyeliner and lippy;  can’t be bothered to put on mascara as I am liable to smudge it anyways, plus there was this segment on the One Show that talked about eyelash lice—DISGUSTING, I KNOW!) fairly quickly.  The trek to the train station was fairly uneventful, save one or two last minute sidesteps because of irresponsible dog owners.

The train ride, which is usually something that I complain about, was unusually quiet.  Coughy Woman (I call her that because she coughs all the time and doesn’t even bother covering her mouth when she does) and her husband were not on the train this morning.  The Chatty Ladies (because they always sit together and DON’T stop talking) weren’t on the train either.  Make-Up Lady (she puts on all her make up on the train! the transformation is amazing once she’s finished!), who usually sits with the Chatty Ladies was all quiet and seemed to be all made-up this morning.  I guess she was missing the company of The Chatty Ladies.

So I get off the train, walk down the underpass to get to the bus stop where I get on a bus that takes me near the office.  And my quiet Friday is shattered, into a tiny million pieces as there is DRAMA on the bus.

Mr Man (I call him this because he stands up tall—well, not very tall as he’s shorter than me and I’m only 5 feet 2.5 inches, and yes, the half inch is important!—and looks down his crooked nose at everyone—although, it’s not really looking down if everyone is taller than him, eh?) has a hissyfit on the bus!  Bus driver stops at the bus stop behind another bus, that takes ages to start moving.  Mr Man walks up to the driver and demands to know when the bus is leaving (how he could miss the other bus in front of us is beyond me!).  Bus driver, and quite politely, I might add, says that he is unable to maneouver out of the bay because there is a bus in front of us.  Mr Man asks why the bus driver won’t honk his horn at the other bus.  Bus driver politely requests Mr Man to go back to his seat and said that he would go to speak to the driver of the other bus.  But as bus driver gets out of his seat, the bus in front of us moves out of the bay, enabling us to get out of the bus stop bay as well (in my head I was thinking, Hurrah!  Potentially uncomfortable situation averted! how wrong was I!)

Bus driver again tells Mr Man to go back to his seat.  And for some reason, that repeated requests sets Mr Man off.  He then starts accusing the bus driver of being ignorant, of being rude, of being ignorant, and says that it wasn’t the bus driver’s business whether he sat or stood.  Bus driver says that he can’t move the bus if Mr Man doesn’t sit.  So the ladies sitting in the back of the bus bravely jump into the conversation.  Ms American asks Mr Man to “please sit down sir!”  and Lady Grey Hair said that everything would be sorted out if Mr Man just sat down and we could travel.  I think Mr Man was a tad embarassed that his error in judgement was being pointed out so he started on the women (I think he must’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed today!).  He was calling them busybody and he called them b****es!  I was quiet horrified!  The ladies were still very polite but the volume was quiet raised now.  I was horrified that Mr Man had such a potty mouth (it reflected what he thought about women, with the kind of words that he was using against these women who were only trying to help him see reason?).

And Mr Bus Driver, being a responsible bus driver, stops the bus at the next stop and walks up to the arguing trio and asks if there was a problem.  Mr Man starts on him again and starts calling him an ignorant idiot.  And the argument just explodes.  Mr Man just starts firing abuse left, right and centre!  Mr Bus Driver, and quite rightly so, asks Mr Man to leave the bus.  Mr Man does so but without stopping the swearing and the name calling.

And then all is quiet.  In my head I was going “Whew!  All this before 8:15 in the morning!”

Who says being on the commute is boring, hey?