The public transport system isn’t that bad but regular users are always found wanting and whining for improvements. The TfL answers with improvements over the weekends which is a pain given the fact that the lines I use regularly are often closed for the weekend - specifically the Circle Line. I learned very early on here that the usage of buses for time-critical events must be absolutely avoided. (Read on my personal blog for that outdated post about my horrific bus experience)
The buses can be used only when you don’t have to be punctual or when there is no tube service. Under all other conditions, say NO to buses. Sadly, I broke my own rule and paid the price.
After enjoying a productive day at the College I took off at around 6 p.m. making my way to the South Kensington station. Shock and horror gripped me when I was greeted by a crowd of people. They were huge in number and were leaking out of station due to the lack of space within. Immediately I decided to avoid the use of Tube because it looked impossible to even reach the gates in the next 10 minutes. Oh, and there is another rule, whenever there are signs of delay Circle Line will always be affected.
Thus I decided to avoid the (yellow) Circle Line and go for a bus ride. I expected some traffic congestion and that would be usual at around 6 p.m. Luckily, the bus appeared within no time and I hopped on to it immediately and seated comfortably. After few minutes of easy going suddenly the bus halted. There was no way to go, it was jammed. Not an inch of space and there were no signs of movement.
As I said, this was to be expected but when the bus didn’t move for the next minutes I sensed something was wrong. There was no way to find out what that was except the bus driver who only knew that there is a traffic jam (and we all knew that). And then it all started, a very cute looking kid decided to scream at the top of his lungs. He was crying and continued to do so without realising how irritating that was to the others trapped in there. I thought of plugging in my earphones only to realise that I left my ipod at home. The next option to pass time was using my phone, but as it is said, if things can go wrong they will. Certainly everything started to fall apart when my phone beeped, alerting a status of low battery even before I pulled it out (this prompted me to order a portable charger off amazon as soon as I got home).
The baby was still crying despite the passage of 10 minutes and the bus having moved only an inch or so. There were two other kids sitting with their mom just behind me playing some game which was also making a disturbing sound. Suddenly they got bored and I was relieved when they handed over the game to the mommy. Only if I knew what they were upto next…
Those two little devils suddenly realised that their mom promised them hot chocolate and started asking for that. The mom continued to deny their request. The bus started crawling with the baby still having the energy to shout and the kids fighting for hot chocolate. We reached Earl’s Court to find thousands of people flocked to the gates of the venue. And there I realised, it was The Brit Awards!
The journey continued swiftly after passing the awards venue but so did the incessant requests for hot chocolate. I saw starbucks and wanted to offer them hot chocolate from my pocket just to pacify them but restrained myself. I must admire the mom for her courage, defiance and patience (sarcastically!). Finally I reached my destination in the next 10 minutes.
So, dear readers, never ever use buses except in case of emergency!
Prior to this experience I had planned to write about the Great Egg Race, but now I leave it for you to find about it yourself.