What an experience in London!

12/12/2007.
Met up with my former student, Dr Jerry Heng whom I taught 15 years ago and he is now a PHD holder lecturing and doing his research at Imperial College London. He showed us around his laboratories and all his up-to-date apparatus, as I was once upon a time his science teacher. After that we went on our own to a nearby Science Museum ( Most of UK museums have free admissions). Then went to Harrods to look look , see see.From there we took our Oiginal Tour
bus toVictoria Coach Station to check out the coach station for our journey tomorrow and got on the original tour bus from Victoria wanting to go to Hyde Park speaker corner, to walk to Bayswater to meet Jerry and his girlfriend for dinner. We got onto the bus at 4 pm thinking that there should be ample time since the dinner was at 6pm. But it took us 2 hours to reach Trafalgar Square because of a procession and 2 fires which caused a massive traffic jam. On reaching Trafalgar Square at 7pm we wanted to take the underground tube to Bayswater but was told that the tube will not be working due to an engineering problem! Hence we ran back to Piccadilly to catch a bus to Bayswater again and only reached the Chinese restaurant at 7.30pm instead of 6 pm... with Jerry and his girlfriend waiting for us at Bayswater.

13/12/2007
Okay that was not exciting , more exciting things happened on 13/12.We checked out the youth hostel at 10 am and our coach back to Manchester was at 2 pm . So we used a bus from Piccadilly to go to Victoria coach station since with Oystercard, bus fare is only 90p but using tube it will cost GBP1.50. We got on bus 38 alright and after seated inside for 1 hour and we didn't managed to get to Victoria coach station. Why ?? because that bus has just passed Victoria coach , then went to Piccadilly where we boarded and brought us to the other end of the line at a place called Clapton!! Never mind since still a lot of time so we boarded another bus No. 38 on the other side of the road at Clapton and this time we make sure that the bus is going to Victoria Coach Station. But after 40 minutes of bus ride we reach Piccadilly and the driver told us to get off the bus and get another bus No 38 to go to Victoria Coach Station which would mean paying another 90p!! As to not go round and round like that for the whole morning, we went back to Piccadilly Underground tube to get to Victoria by changing at Green Park . Okay from Piccadilly, we did get to Green Park alright. At Green Park , we got into the Victoria Tube alright too but after 1 minute ride, the tube stopped suddenly!! it was jump started over and over again (over 10X) but it failed to start. In my mind I was thinking how long are we going to get stuck like this underground in a tube??? but the strange thing about Ang-mohs is, they don't get panic in situations like this!!!Either they are vey used to these types of problems or they have so much trust in the Tube Managements.
After 10 minutes, I also don't know what they did, I only know the tube is like running on free gear or being pulled by something to Victoria Station.
From Victoria Station we walked to Victoria Coach Station and another horror is, The National Express coach which is supposed to depart at 2pm were delayed to 2.45pm and we were all asked to board the coach to Halifax instead and changed to another coach at Meller Keynes. OMG panic lar because this is my first trip ever to London and to UK !! Want or not we boarded that coach, and we do reach Meller Keynes alright, changed coach that went to Manchester. But while on the way there was an a very bad accident that held the traffic up for at least 10 miles!! With that delay , the driver told us that he needed to drop us at Stoke-on-Trent to look for an alternative for us to go to Manchester since it is over his limit of driving hours for that day!!But on reaching Stoke-on-Trent coach station there is not a single soul at National Express office there being 8.30pm!! so that undecided lone driver drove on and told us that he may drop us at those welcome break stops to wait for another driver or bus there..if that happens we also don't know till when and don't forget from Manchester I need to take another bus to reach Burnley that night!!! Then the last minute decision from the driver was he himself would drove us all the way to Manchester trying to beat his latest log-out time at 9.20pm and with his fast and skilful driving we all managed to each Manchester coach station at 9.15 pm which is a good two and a half hour delay from the original time that we are supposed to arrive at Manchester!!!
Now if people tell me UK transport is punctual I will say Bulls#@t!
and 13/12/2007 is not a Friday even, or else at least I can say everything happened because it was a Black Friday.......


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