Saturday, October 20, 2012

Oh, trains

If nothing else, this conference has provided me with a strong skill set in navigating the train system in the United Kingdom.  I am now fully confident in my ability to get virtually anywhere on any service.
A few anecdotes and general statements about my travel:
  • I have now heard “mind the gap” more times than should be necessary in any individual’s life.
  • I definitely bought a return ticket once at a station kiosk when I only needed a one-way, and thus spent more money than necessary.  This is made particularly ridiculous given that the reason I only needed a one-way was because I had failed earlier to buy a return ticket.  Well done, Farnum.  Way to be absurd.  Won’t happen again, though!
  • I was sitting on a train with my laptop out, working on something with headphones in.  I sneezed.  Instead of saying “bless you” or any other standard response, the man sitting across from me asked what I was listening to.  Virtually immediately after my sneezing.  Seemed a bit odd, but whatever.  Apparently sneezing is actually an invitation to/request for conversation.  Incidentally, the answer was Cole Porter’s “De-Lovely.”
  • For those of you who don’t know, there’s an actual marker in King’s Cross with “9 ¾” that has a cart pushed into the wall.  It’s rather adorable.
  • Note to self: The London Tube closes down on the weekend.  Seriously.  I missed my train from King's Cross because several of the routes from Victoria to King's Cross were in repair.  So you're getting these updates an hour later than you should be.  Silly London.  (But not really.  London's underground is brilliant.  If I hadn't lolly-gagged a bit coming off the train from Brighton because I knew/thought I had a lot of time to make it to King's Cross, I would have been fine.  The Tube is amazing even when half of it is shut down.)


  1. TRAINS.

    Always buy your tickets online beforehand if you know when you're going to be traveling. It's usually cheaper that way. And less of a chance to do something stupid ;)

  2. I bought them all beforehand, except the unplanned jaunt to a restaurant after one of the conference days to talk more with the academics...that was the return fail. It was late at night, what can I say?