Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I only want to attend my nephew's christening!

Yesterday lunchtime, I went to Queen Street station to ask about cheap returns to Norwich. You thought we had a national rail network in the UK? Think again! Queen Street trains mostly go north or east, not south. So the ticket office computers don't get details of cheap Virgin offers going south. (There I was, fondly imagining that all ticket offices got the same details - how naive of me!)

Ah well, what's a lunchtime for, if not queuing up to find out about tickets? (I had a paper refund voucher I wanted to use, or I'd have done the whole thing online - but could I find anywhere in my computer to post that refund voucher??? There was no alternative but to deal with a real human being.)

Today lunchtime, I went to Central Station to ask about cheap returns to Norwich. There are oodles of options, but no Apex, no cheap returns - yes, I know it'll be the September weekend, but I'm booking a month in advance. Doesn't that count for anything?

At the weekend, it was going to be just over £70 to fly down. Today, I discovered it would be £67 to take the train. It takes more time, but I get more time to read on the train, which is actually a good thing. However, it doesn't seem very cheap to me!

I got back to my desk after lunch with five minutes in hand. I rang the travel agent which I believed my workplace had a business account with, and explained that this time, I wasn't booking on the work account - I just wondered if they could check a railfare for me as a private individual.

- No, sorry - they don't do business accounts any more. ["But I'm asking as a private individual ..."]

- And they don't act as an agent for rail tickets, either.

Aw, shucks. Back to Central Station tomorrow, I see. The airfare has gone up over £20 since the weekend in any case.

I want to read the Grumpy Old Women book. And then the Grumpy Old Men book. Forget reading up in advance about the menopause - I want to know what it's going to be like on the other side of it!

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