Sunday, May 16, 2010

More stupidity

I'm tired of the fact that, when I'm stupid in Europe, I end up losing tons of money. Today, it seemed great - after Therese and I had tea and scones (don't worry, Marta's are still better), I decided to spend a few hours at the British library, go back to Therese's dorm to get my bags, meet her at the library so we could get a last Pret a Manger meal, and then head to the station for my 5:31 train. Well, the library part worked really well. I spent hours there, headed over to the King's Cross station to take a picture of platform 9 3/4 (which is between platforms 8 and 9, by the way - I know I'm not very good at math, but shouldn't it be between 9 and 10?), then headed back to Therese's dorm. I got there and left a little before four to meet Therese at her library, but the bus didn't stop for me!! I was in such a hurry I had to take a cab for 8 pounds, but I made it to Therese by about 4:40. Obviously, we didn't have time to go to Pret (it was closed anyway - London closes early on Sundays). So, I gave her her key, said goodbye, and rushed to the tube to get back to the station. I made it there by 5:10 (just 20 minutes early instead of the 30 I had wanted to get there) and apparently, when you're rushed, you're not supposed to wait in the line with everyone. Apparently, the line is for tons of different trains and not just the one I was late for, so I was supposed to go straight to the booth. But, I didn't know that, waited, then the stupid machine wouldn't work and someone finally told me to go to the booth where they told me it was too late and that I had missed the train.

I headed to the ticket office where some very rude British guy told me there was absolutely no way I could get out of England today (obviously he was an idiot...) and that the earliest I could leave would be 11:00 tomorrow morning (British time, so already an hour into my last ENS class...). After a few good minutes of freaking out in the line, a nice ticket salesman told me he could get me onto a folding chair in the train and that it would be uncomfortable, but I could leave at 8:30 (for a 70 pound fee, of course...). So, I waited and talked to a bunch of French people. They said they wished all Americans were like me! I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not, but I said merci.

Finally, I got on the train and a conductor was telling the four of us who were supposed to sit on the folding seats that we couldn't, but then someone called him and said they had real seats we could sit in. This other girl and I were shown to this secret little room near first class, and the seats were really comfortable. Then, when the train stopped (finally - like an hour late!) at Gare du Nord, we realized we were locked in! We had to bang on the door forever to get someone to let us out. It was funny - she kept saying that the situation was "ouf" (French backwards slang Verlan language - the word fou or crazy backwards). And then I came home and I'm sitting on my real bed, pretty tired, but also amazed at what I'll do to see a musical or two.

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