Tuesday, August 17, 2004

I'm a student again!

Only not really.

I went to Paddington Station yesterday after work to buy my train ticket to Edinburgh. (I've never traveled on the train here, so this is going to be quite the adventure. Or quite the horrific, overheated, irritating experience - assuming I can trust the stories I've heard.)

Anyhoo, I'd done a bit of research on the internet, and found tickets for the dates I wanted for £66. That was about the maximum of what I could spend, so I was all pleased and stuff.

I get to the station, wait in queue, argue with the man who wanted to skip ahead of me for some silly reason and finally get to the counter. The guy found the tickets for the train I wanted, but they were going to be £98. I made the universal face for oooh, that's more than I was expecting and I really can't afford that, said "thanks" and went to walk away.

The guy asked me how old I was, and if I lived in London, then told me to hold on for a second, did a few more computer related things. He then said that if I went and got a passport sized photo and came back to see him, I could have it for only £80. I did some quick math, figured I could probably afford the extra £14 and said okay.

I find a photo booth, buy a bottle of overpriced train station water so that I have the £3.50 in change required for the machine, reject about seven possible photos before getting frustrated and finally saying okay to one that I wasn't completely happy with because I thought it made my eyes look all big-eye-small-eye and wait for the photos to come out. It turns out that time goes very slowly when you're standing beside an empty photo booth, just waiting. After what felt like forever, I get my photos (which actually looked pretty cute) and went back up to the ticket buying area. That's not what it's really called.

I'm standing in the queue again, and the guy sees me and waves me over to his booth. He gives me a form to fill out, but just tells me to fill out the address part and sign the back. I do, give it back to him, along with the photos and my money. He very carefully cuts them apart and gives me back two of them, keeping two. Apparently one is for him to keep. Creepy? Yes. But he was getting me discount train tickets, so I was willing to let some things slide. He puts the other in a student rail travel card and hands it to me, along with my ticket to Edinburgh and my change. The cost of my ticket? £60. Less than I was planning to pay. But what happened to the other £20, I hear you asking.

Well, I now have a student rail travel card, which entitles me to at least 30% off all train journeys in the UK. And it's valid for a year. And it's been about six years since I was in school. How freaking funny is that?

Sometimes, my life is comedy gold. Gold, I tell you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just feel bad that nobody commented here. Hi Alice. I think that your way of being a student again is the best way. The kind where you don't actually go to school, I mean.

(Two Years And Out!)