English service

Managed to get through Terminal 3 security ok. Went to the coach desk to buy tickets but was told to get them from ‘the girl’ on the bus. Stood at the bus bay. When it arrived there was suddenly a swarm of staff comprising a change of driver, a ticket seller and a very loud mouthed woman who screams out bus names to people. The new driver gets into the bus and does all the things that bus drivers do, including finishing his cigarette. The loud mouth ticket girl (for this is who she was) hops on and starts collecting fares from people already on the bus. We, the passengers, were left on the curb. No-one opened the luggage section. When an American couple tried to get onto the coach they copped a load of abuse from the loud mouthed girl.

Eventually the original driver stowed the luggage for us and the ticket girl got off the bus to sell us all tickets. Then, and only then, were we allowed on the coach. The new driver then pumps up the heater. The bus was already excessively hot. A few yards out of the terminal a passenger went to the driver asking for the air conditioning. The driver put it on. It lasted about three seconds then turned itself off. Now, it’s a really noisy aircon yet the driver seemed to have no idea that it was no longer going. Another passenger then started up, telling the driver to put it back on. Then, after a bit of arguing, the driver turned it back on. This resulted in blasts of hot air. A lot of dissension followed this.

Eventually the driver got a bit narky and opened the overhead vents. The passenger said it was “bloody hot” and the driver fell back on the pathetic so often heard in the UK “You don’t have to swear sir, I’m not swearing.” Mirinda, being Mirinda, responded with “And you don’t have to smoke” but, unfortunately, he didn’t hear.

Eventually we got to Woking ready for our usual half hour wait for a train. Went to the new Peacock Cafe (on platform 5) for a tea and a coffee. Mirinda was doing the buying. Her tea was fine but my coffee was tepid – as if made with warm water out of the tap. She complained to the inept guy and he tried again. Then the woman that runs the place came over and made a proper cup. The train, of course, was late.

At Farnham, when the taxi arrived, I had to heave the bags into the boot while the driver stood and watched. He eventually said he had a hernia! What a typical English day of incompetence. Strange ending to a brilliant holiday.

Got home to a mile of mail. Stayed awake until 7 then we both died.

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