helen-louise (baratron) wrote,
helen-louise
baratron

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I'd like a do-over for today, please.

Note to self: do not attempt to make over-complex rail journeys on a bad pain day while premenstrual & short of time. It leads to expensive mistakes.

Today I had to go to Oxford, so I took the bus to Ealing Broadway then train from there. I duly bought a return from Ealing to Oxford at a cost of £11.90. As my brain wasn't functioning, I got it routed "not London", then panicked & realised I needed to cross London to get to New Malden for work. So then I bought a zone 1-4 Travelcard to use in combination. On the train I suddenly realised it wouldn't be valid for a fast train (you can only use combinations of tickets IF the train actually stops at the station where the tickets overlap), so I got off at Slough & tried to change it for routing via London. Apparently there was no way to do that - I could apply for a refund & buy new tickets, but the £10 administration fee makes it not worthwhile. So then I cried, and the woman said it was unlikely I'd get stopped, and I said I didn't want to get into trouble - so she sold me another ticket from Slough to London Paddington. Then I went to Oxford on a train that was delayed 20 min, & went to the Pokemon event.

I got even more delayed there due to waiting in the wrong place for 15 minutes, and just missed the 15:07 train back to London by dint of it actually going at 15:05. (Bloody National Rail Enquiries computer, grrr). By this time I was overheated & sunburnt, as when i'd left home this morning it had been freezing, so I was dressed accordingly. (It's been vile for the past week - spring/autumn weather rather than summer). Realising I had run out of spoons, I went for the "simplest" South West Trains route to get home - but this cost me even more because my brain wasn't working. All the fast trains to Reading were delayed. Finally got there at 16:08, got on the 16:12 train to Waterloo - and realised my combination of tickets wouldn't be valid for the Reading --> Twickenham --> Norbiton route because a) they're nowhere near Ealing Broadway, b) Norbiton is in zone 5, and although Twickenham's in zone 4, you have to pass through zones 5 & 6 to get there. I thought I might be able to argue that my tickets should take me to Twickenham, but I couldn't get to Norbiton - and coming out of the ticket barriers to buy another ticket at Twickenham is a pain in the arse - tripled if rugby is happening. So I then bought another ticket from Reading to Norbiton, at a cost of £11.10. This made me miss the 16:12 train & I'm now on the 16:42. I still want to go home!

Argh! Why is it so hard to change your plans in this country? It seems insane that when I realised I had the wrong routing, I couldn't just pay the difference & change the ticket at the first stop. It shouldn't be impossible to change a ticket for another route of roughly the same distance in roughly the same direction.

The one "happy" thought in this tail of woe is that I "only" spent £31.40 on trains + £7.10 on buses - at one point I was considering flying to New York to get a Mew from the Nintendo World store. Ye-es.

I'm sorry I didn't come to see any Oxford or Reading people but I was hoping to get back in time for work at 5pm, and by the time I realised there was no way for me to get back, I was already out of spoons.
Tags: note to self, travel, uk
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