SHE’S GOT A TICKET NOT TO RIDE
June 2nd. Victoria Station. Midday.
Notice at bus stop a er, notice (how’s that for a coincidence) which tells me that buses will not be stopping at this stop (which obviously should now be renamed a not-stop) until after 3rd June. (Hope raised fleetingly when I realise that’s a date in the summer, while the weather we’re currently experiencing is deep winter, but recedes once I remember I live in the UK and that this is summer weather).
Make half mile trek along Wilton Road to the previous stop on the route (not mentioned previously, keep up, for God’s sake) since the following stop (I’m not about to mention that either, what’s wrong with you?) means negotiating the current building work bolognaise around Victoria Station (yes, I did mention that earlier, well-spotted, mark it off in your Ladybird Book of Victoria Stations), a description that most appositely describes the complete ragout that is also Spaghetti Junction. Naturally, the bus I would have got on at the stop where buses were now not stopping passes me – is it my imagination it tried to mount the pavement and run me over? – and I arrive at the previous stop (don’t start that again) and dig in to wait for the ‘every 6 – 10 minutes but on a completely different space/time continuum from anything on Planet Earth’ to take its course.
Bus appears. Stops at the stop. (Unusual). I clamber on (daintily) and hold my One-Day Travelcard up for the driver to look at. Driver not remotely interested in looking at it, so I stand there (daintily) until he does, as I’m not a criminal and have no desire to be perceived as one, and am generally very polite, unless I’m dealing with transport companies, utilities companies, Tories, and stupid people (which I do realise is tautology). Walk to back of bus while we’re setting off towards the not-stop, whereupon on arrival, the bus unaccountably stops (with no consideration for its new reclassification) and the driver says: “Can you all get off, this bus is terminating here”.
Someone, possibly me, but can’t be sure because of the steam emanating from my ears, starts shouting, pointing out in a pointy out way she’s just trekked half a mile to the stop where she boarded this vehicle only to be ferried back to the very spot she previously started trekking from to reach the previous stop so what was the bloody point of that when she’s now being ejected unceremoniously onto the pavement (though not sure exactly what ceremony would be appropriate for being ejected from a number 24 bus) and couldn’t he see the destination as advertised on the front was ‘Hampstead’ – which of course he couldn’t see because he was inside not driving the bus so was totally unaware of where he was not driving the bus to.
I would say back to square one, but square one isn’t in operation until 12th Never, so it’s now known as ‘square that’s unaccountably out of operation for no discernible reason whatsoever other than to seriously piss off anyone who’s in need of it’.
June 2nd. Victoria Station. Fifteen minutes past midday.
Somehow, the prospect of trekking back to the previous previous stop I recounted previously doesn’t quite have the appeal it didn’t quite have the first time around.
I step onto the tube train.