Lesson #90 – The beginning of the ending [10 chapters of J & C’s Working Holiday Textbook]

Stay tuned…

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Lesson #89 – Discussing Why the London transport system refund system needs to think about building in flexibility….

Apparently London transport system doesnt allow any spontaneity. Was charged extra on my oyster card as I forgot to tap on the system on my entry at Teddington rail station. As it seemed, now the transport system doesnt allow us to claim back the maximum fund deducted even on the spot. A couple of steps I had to take to ensure that my refund came back.

1. Get a receipt from the office and the number to call

2. Call the number only 24hr after that particular journey you are planning to reclaim for.

3. Make sure you will be travelling on the tube minimum of 24 hours after the call or maximum of a week else the refund will not be returned to the card.

4. If you have no intention of travelling on the tube yet, you can still give a call but get yourself a reference number for your case.

Limitation of this solution –

1. What happens if you lose your card?

2. Why cant the refund be sent to the train station office?

3. What if I have no intention of travelling on the tube for a while?

I have just credited the refund back to the station..my home station and it will be activated ONLY at 4am next day..BUT I just realised I have no intention of travelling on the tube for a while…and I may end up losing my refund after a week if I dont get to tap my card through the exit doors…

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Lesson #88 – It is ok to talk to strangers. Sometimes…

Growing up in an environment that tells you not to talk to strangers, makes you typically snobbish, rude, and unfriendly in the cosmopolitan world of london. But one thing you slowly learn, is that it is really ok to talk to strangers. sometimes…

As C has rightly put, if the feel and level of openess and friendliness feels right, there is so much you can learn, from talking to the person you sat with on a train ride, met while taking a pit stop from running in the park, and even just the random person asking for directions in the streets… And I’ve always taken a little secret liking to such brief moments.

Sometimes. It is to these people whom you’ll never see again, that one feels truly at ease, to say what you really feel or think, and share thoughts openly, knowing that you won’t have to face judgement for the things you said in the next few days… and more often than not,  gain some new insights, knowledge, and perspectives on things you never gave much thought about.

So sometimes. It is ok to talk to strangers. Try to remember that.

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Lesson #87 – People in the UK wake up earlier in Spring time

Same time; same bus; same route.

But yet there were obvious differences – more passengers, more congested routes and once again the bus terminated halfway!!!! Goodness. After 1.5months of waking up 1 hour earlier to head to work, I seemed to end back at square one!

Do I really need to wake up another half hour earlier – I thought? Upon a quick chat with my manager, I learned the reason for the same scenario -due to the earlier daybreak, people tend to wake up earlier during Spring and Summer time…

Looks like I need to revisit my planned timing to head to work again:(

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Lesson #86 – Entering the UK from Ireland/Island of Isles does not require one to clear passport control

We whizzed through the passport control in Stansted on Monday night upon our return from Kerry. Apparently, the immigration control allows anyone coming in from Ireland(Northern and Republic) plus Island of Isles to exit through a special path.

Not sure of the specific reason but perhaps to maintain neighbourly ties? Anyway, this fantastic bit of news might help to encourage travel in this particular direction;)

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Lesson #85 – How to apply for a reader card at the British Library

Totally amazing how I was living near the British library for around five months and never once have I ever stepped into it. However, a comment from my brother to understand more about my historical background prompted me to initiate my first visit before 2010 ended.

Before I went there, I had no idea that one needed a reader card to get into the reference section. As such, on my first visit, I went to the self-help machine on the second floor(just before it was due to close in 45minutes) to apply for one only to find out that I needed two pieces of documents – one official letter to prove my current residential address(It could be a bill or a bank statement or perhaps a residential card) and another to prove my identity(passport, photo ID card etc).

I dug into my wallet and discovered that I could prove my identity but I had nothing on me to prove my current address. As such, I exited the library kicking myself in the butt for not putting in enough efforts in my research. It was after another long period before I made another attempt to get the reader card.

But so there – with the BIG resource staring right in front of you – INTERNET – do make sure that you do not make wasted trips as I did!

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Lesson #84 – Engineering works is not limited to within London

Sounds like a very basic concept to everyone – but it took a trip to Sussex for me to find that out. London is a city with engineering works on tracks being carried out every weekend and there are proper notifications telling everyone where are the blocks and how they should avoid it.

However, this didnt happen on the southeastern trains to Sussex. Upon arrival at Ashford International, the little troop of 3 discovered to their dismay that they had to transfer to a rail replacement bus instead of to another train. As such, they had to embark on a bumpy ride – resulting in queasy stomachs and giddiness at the destination.

As such, mental preparations is needed during such trips and always have on hand some mints/sweets to alleviate the potential bus-lag.

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