Monday, 30 September 2013

A trip to Crawley (an illustrated rant)

A business hotel in which the telephones in the rooms don't work. In Brighton there were no direct-dial phones in the rooms either.  In The Regency Hotel the phone had such a loud buzzing in the line that I could barely hear what I myself was saying.
Oh Britannia, what woes you?
Communication issues?

Actually, I don't care anymore why nothing seems to work around here, so I'm off to the next city to buy a cell phone.  The hotel pamphlet advertises shuttle service to Gatwick, but of course that has been discontinued. And I'm not paying 12 Pounds for a taxi back and forth.  So I walk to the train station.  The ticket machine works and is easy to understand.  They have the same kind of gates as in Ireland at the train station. Make sure you keep your ticket until you leave the destination station otherwise you have to climb the barrier or squeeze through with someone else (No fun, I did that in Ireland). Anyhoo, not to worry, by the time I got back to the departure train station, the gates had ceased functioning and were left open !  In Crawley (you don't want to know where that is; see picture),
Almost having to wade through garbage to cross the tracks in Crawley
I located a telephone store (after a bit of walking I discover 3 right next to each other.  After an explanation of my situation, the staff suggests a pre-paid cheap cell phone.  I leave with a simple Nokia and 15 pounds of talk credit. One minute talking to Canada costs 6 p. And the whole bundle cost me 19.99 Pounds (tax included). Yes, I got the phone for 5 pounds.

Try that in Canada !!!!

Crawley Station

On the way back to the hotel from the train station I stop at Lidl to buy some groceries.  Lidl is one of Britain's favourite food discounters and happens to be a German store chain. Hey, if you have a German royal family, might as well buy German food.
My spirits get dampened back to British normality when I try to buy a train ticket online. You get them cheaper online than at the machine and you don't have to line up.  But ONLY if you have a BRITISH BILLING ADDRESS.  Thank you sooo much Southern Railway!  Canadian Credit Cards not accepted because the billing address does not have a British Postal Code.

Insular thinking?

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