working on weekends is an alien concept here in the UK. coming from a place that has virtually no weekends off, this was quite a revelation, and painful one at that!
i had to work this weekend, especially on sunday. so i gathered my stuff and set off towards addlestone, for which i have to change a train at weybridge. reached there with almost 45 mins to ten. went to the platform from where the next train leaves. the guard there very kindly informed me that trains to addlestone do not work on a sunday from weybridge, and that i will have to go back two stations to get another train! i do not quite get the idea of not letting trains run between certain stations on weekends. so i trekked the bridge back to the platform i had come from, where the indicator said that the next train was in another 40 minutes! but there was one before that would take me four stations behind to a place called woking. might as well save the time, i thought. but even that train was a good 25 minutes later! the weather was not looking too promising, and it started raining pretty soon. the wind was terrible and i had to find some shelter. so i stood on the steps to the bridge, which were nicely shielded from the wind. had gauri’s camera, so took some pictures from the station.
landed at woking at around 1015. my time sheet at work was going to suffer! but i had a valid reason ( ! ) well, woking was abuzz with activity, with trains leaving for bournemouth and poole and what not! the train that would take me to addlestone was supposed to come at platform 3, and was at 1052!! which was quite a shock, as i was well past my reporting time. i looked around for the platform and followed the signs until i came to platform 3 & 4. had a lot of time till 52, so went in a cafe for some nice hot coffee. also bought a very well baked apple pie thingy. the coffee was bland and had no sugar. so i went to the counter and asked the guy for some sachets. he directed me to a table, where i went and attempted to open the coffee cup, as it had a cover tightly capped on to it. in the process, i pulled at it too hard, and KABAM! hot coffee flew out from the cup and onto my hand, my jacket and splashed all over the floor!! all the people suddenly looked at this dumb ass who was standing there with coffee all over his new shoes and new black trouser and his jacket. i very silently and calmly (in complete acceptance of my stupidity) poured the sugar sachets in what remained of the coffee, snapped the cover shut, and walked over to the guy at the counter, informing about the royal mess i had created on his shop floor. and walked out with the same silence and calm!
kept on walking till i was well out of sight on the cafe, and finished the coffee sitting on a bench. luckily, i had grabbed a lot of tissues on the way, with which i carefully cleaned my new shoes and the trouser. and waited for the train…
looked at my watch and it was 1055! and the stupid train wasn’t there! saw some guards and asked them about the train to addlestone, and one of them very patiently (maybe he saw the coffee stain and probably smelled it too!) instructed me to walk till the very far end of the platform – which i had initially assumed to be no. 3 – to come to the actual platform, where there would be another train in an hour, i.e. 1152!!! cursed the bloody national rail, and trundled along till the very far end of the platform, and finally came to the god-forsaken ‘platform 3’.
by the time i reached there, it had started raining buckets and busted bandra water pipes! it looked good, and i felt a little relieved even though i had to wait for more than an hour. the platform was specially for weekend trains which have four coaches and run between woking and waterloo, taking an alternate route as engineering work blocks some of the main lines.
strolled around the platform for some time, and finally decided to sit and wait for the train, which arrived 25 minutes before departure time. went in, and found it to be nice and warm, and dry! it was virtually empty, save for the two guys who got in with me. the rain on the huge windows was looking nice.
took a small nap, and woke up as the train started with a jerk. finally! i was on my way to addlestone!
reached the place, set up my things and started giving demos to people who walked by and asked about the printer i was supposed to sell. on sundays, i have to work till four, six on saturdays. since i had come in late, i had only three more hours till i packed off and left. as the hours wore on, i managed to give a lot more demos than the day before. and wonder of wonders!! i even managed a SALE!! yeaaah!!!! it was a nice young couple who wanted something to print photos and documents, and was within a hundred quid. the model i had was of that price, so i showed them other machines which would fit in their budget. also got them convinced about the savings on cartridges. well, they bought it!! and i left happy!
left the store at 430. was starving, so went into a burger and grilled chicken shop. almost all of these joints are run by indians and pakistanis. had really filling burger meal, fries and coke included! with lots of mayonnaise too 🙂 came to the station, and there it was! the stupid indicator saying that the next train was in an hour!! damn the national rail! it is such a pain to wait at the station i tell you. especially if it is deserted and dark, and the paranoid jerks of rail guards have very conveniently locked away the waiting rooms! well, had the camera. so went off snapping at the station!
it makes me happy to have a camera around. really takes the stress off 🙂
the benches were looking good with the stark contrast of the yellow lights on them and the black hand rails. they were too cold to sit, but made good pictures!
what struck me the most as i walked around the city is the sheer number of CCTVs they have all over the place! in fact, in the MA show of our university, one girl had made a project on them. it is just crazy! i guess the following lyrics from pink floyd’s ‘final cut’ gives an accurate picture –
If you negotiate the minefield in the drive
And beat the dogs and cheat the cold electronic eyes
And if you make it past the shotgun in the hall,
Dial the combination, open the priest hole
And if I’m in I’ll tell you what’s behind the wall.
and here is Mr. Electronic Eye himself –
got home at around 730. was dead tired from all the waiting and traveling. next time around, if i am to make it in time for work, i will probably have to leave a good three hours before 😦
have the final module assessment coming up on the sixth. have one major project to put together. had just showed it to the tutor on my laptop. now i will be taking prints (A0 size – 20 pounds each!!!) and creating the final piece. also have to make some changes to other projects. let’s see how all that works out.
cya soon. will take pics of my projects and post them soon.