Tag Archives: trains

merdeka celebration in uk

23 Sep

london 5.28pm 18.3C sunny saturday 2017

i was coming back on the victoria line, from highbury and islington, and was really surprised at the crowded carriages. people were trying to squeeze themselves in;  what can be bringing all these people out at this time of day (it was about 3pm)? on a saturday too.

there were people with luggage as well, blocking the way; and i was hoping they would all get off at euston, and when they still did not do so , i was hoping king’s cross then. please let them get off there, but no, they all want to get their money’s worth by going to the furthest station on that line, victoria. the carriage practically emptied when we arrived at victoria. so that was where they are headed, and i could not help thinking what is with all these people wanting to travel. cant they just stay at home and enjoy their home lives…? haha. 

but of course, the mark of a city is that its people are always on the move. masses of people going one way, and masses of people going the other way… so much so that u wish they would go live there , exchange homes with each other, so that all this seemingly pointless moving about wont happen. haha.

ah well, that is modern life… aimlessly moving from one spot to another. in the old days you stay in your village your whole life and be happy about it. now you get restless, wanting to go off somewhere , anywhere… just as long as it is not home.

no wonder the trains operators can charge so much to move people around.

i went to the merdeka do sponsored by the malaysian high commission at the tun abdul razak (he was our 2nd prime minister)research centre in hertford north this morning… you could say i have been part of the mass moving of people too… joining all those who travel to attend this do.

most of them went by car, as the car park there was jammed… not many came by train even though they provided free transport in the form of a minibus and cars to take us to and from the two stations , hertford east is the other, that service the area. it seems this festival have been done every year, but this is the first time i heard about it. well, it will be the only time of the year when u can see so many malaysians in one spot.

and it is a area of uk that i have never been. my impression , when taken to the centre from the station is that there are a lot of roads and roundabouts and very few houses , lots of fields, maybe because we did not go through the town centre… it is very rural, at least from the little i saw of the place from the back of the minibus. the normal train fare is £8.50 if u take it from finsbury park. a half hourly service, which stops at a lot of small stations before it ends at hertford north. i used my freedom pass, which means i only pay from crews hill(zone 6) onwards, costing £4.50 day return. naturally there were lots of malaysian foods, but i find i have lived in uk too long, i dont seem to crave eating it as much as i used to. i was chatting to one of the stall holders, they were selling malaysian products , and are only online, no shops she said…so that means u have to pay the delivering charges if u want to buy their stuff… i mentioned it, and she very cleverly said well then, here is the only chance u can get of buying our stuff without the delivery charge… and she was right of course. i mentioned the ikan bilis, they sell bags of it for £5, and i mentioned how strange that ikan bilis in uk is so expensive, when in malaysia, ikan bilis is a poor man’s fish… it seems it is the cost of transporting it here, but she also said even in malaysia, ikan bilis is expensive, because it is getting scarcer to catch… it surprised me to hear that, ikan bilis getting rarer to harvest… what is happening??? living here, and ikan bilis being so expensive, i have long ago stopped eating it in my cooking… and dont miss it nowadays. it does add a distinctive flavour to all the cooking though.

there was a stall selling live plants, and i was chatting to two ladies who also were also hanging around there, and said it is a pity i cannot see any curry leaf plant, because that would certainly make me buy one… as i have never seen live curry plants in uk in all the time i have lived here at all…





bus and train fares

28 Jul

london 3.16pm 19.3C rain friday 2017

i happened to click onto the megabus website, and was surprised to find that there are no more £1 fares to bournemouth by train. and their bookings are only up to 4aug. in the past they would allow u to book 6wks ahead and u can get £1 one way fares on the train to there if u catch it quick enough. but now the cheapest fare is £9 and even then, there are only about 4 trains to chose from per day.  it could be they are so busy because of the school holidays they have stopped the £1 fares for now.

for comparison i googled trainline for their normal price, and found it is £53 one way to go there, and £49 for the one way fare back. almost £100 return and this by train to bournemouth , a 2hr journey. it brings forcefully to me how expensive train fares are.

national express bus company are doing the one way fares for about £10. (£15 now it seems,)so i suppose u could say the train megabus fares are good value. train journeys are quicker than buses. but they are either very early or very late in the day. 

i am glad i am not interested in going to bournemouth… i was reminded of all this when i saw this article about increasing cost of train fares next month. those are commuter fares increases paid yearly though. and i think those £53 fares are commuter fares too. (season ticket bournemouth=london is £6320 a year. will rise another £152 from jan 2018 £24.30 a day if u take it 5days a week. ) 

added 17.8.17 thursday . found a article about the train fares increase by simon calder, who gave a rather intersting perspective on it. he suggests fares should be subjected to demand pricing… like the airline fares. it might work. he says the fact that even with the fare going up to £5000 , £10,000 a year, the trains are still crowded with standing room only. the high fares are not deterring people from travelling at those times. he says those times should have even higher increases, whilst reducing the off peak times. that is in the morning, but in the evening when they go home, the peak trains are empty, whilst everyone crowds into the off peak ones at 7pm. 

 if there are £10 fares by bus, (£15 now, it seems) how come the trains can charge £50? who are so desperate as to buy them?  it would seem business people will pay them. and when we hear of big crowds at the railway stations in the morning and after work in the evening, standing room only on the trains coming in to london and going out …there are no shortage of such people.

 suppose now we have the school holidays even the coaches are increasing their fare…  usually the buses/coaches cost £5, or £8 one way. all those families with children on holiday must have to find something to amuse their little darlings i suppose. so travelling and sight seeing and seaside holidays might be  they might be wanting.

actually, now i think of it, it is still quite reasonable fare even though it is higher than the usual fare. and when u consider the hotel accommodation will be much higher, as a percentage of the total cost of the holiday the transport fare is not really very much. lets face it, if u are going there for a holiday, you must resign yourself to spending money. 

added 12.8.17. found out today when i tried to get into megabus that there is no more £1 fares to bournemouth. in fact bournemouth has completely disappeared as a destination for the megabuses. weird or what… the company has contracted a lot. national express fortunately still continue to have £5 one way fares to many destinations , bournemouth included. though any journeys in august are still very expensive even on national express. you can pay as much as £28 one way, the cheapest is £17.50 one way. 

train delayed because of a miscarriage

29 Feb

london 10.36am 6.3C sunny monday 29feb 2016

people complain when they are delayed and they are not told why. and now when they are told why, they complain that it is too much information. haha. actually, i thought it rather apt and witty in a way, to say this train is delayed because of a miscarriage. the play on words is funny. but i read here in the metro newspaper of people being outraged at being told. saying it was heartless of the announcer. i think we should speak out against these idiots who will complain and pretend they are kind feeling persons. they all want to be told if there is a delay, so dont start complaining about being told too much information. it is like that announcement of body on the line. in the past they used to say someone committed suicide. in the past this would elicit a sympathetic response, but not nowadays, so they switch that to body on the line.

so that everyone who is delayed can vent their anger about it without seeming to be unfeeling.

then they applied it to everything, making bland statements like leaves on the line… and that made people cross that it is such a trivial thing to delay the train.

now they hope that people would feel better about being delayed if they say it was a miscarriage, after all, who can get angry over that… instead they get angry at being told it is a miscarriage. and get angry at the behalf of that person. ( i have a feeling they just feel angry at the delay, but cannot say it outloud, for fear that people will call them unfeeling, so they get angry by picking on how heartless it was).

they should just be honest and say ‘i am angry at the delay and angry for whatever the reason, and angry at that person for having a miscarriage there. i am angry!!)

idiot response, is what i say to these people . for all they know that miscarriage may be welcome news if it is an unwelcomed pregnancy. but i guess that is what will happen when u make social media so easily available to people, so they can twit away like nobody’s business and say anything that comes first to mind, without thinking it through. the trouble is these people are the ones to draw attention, and they get reported in the news. what we should all say when we hear such things, is to shout ‘RUBBISH’ at them.



29 Apr

london 2.11pm wednesday 2015.

i just feel like chitchatting, so just consider all this as just me making like i am in a kopitiam yakking over a teh tarik.

john, my friend from poole, has gone back now.

on the day he left i brought his one way ticket for another journey to london for the naked bike ride in june.

because we book as soon as it opens, we were able to get the £1 train ticket. plus 50p booking fee it cost him only £1.50 for a 2hr journey by train from bournemouth to london. it is really very cheap, which makes me wonder why i dont go to bournemouth more often, but i dont.

this is really strange because i can stay with john for free too. but i just dont fancy travelling. i like pottering around my neighbourhood and doing routine things. i wonder if it is a sign of going old? it might well be, i find as i go older i dislike altering my routine. all those advise to do a new thing, experience a new thing, and get out of a rut, etc, i find just thinking about it makes me tired. haha. i like doing nothing and just pottering around and having my life on a even keel. from looking at my friends, whenever anything exciting happens to them , it is being robbed, or having a bad health scare, or something bad. so no thanks to me nothing happening is good. haha.

 and he wrote in an email telling me his train from waterloo was delayed 90 mins because of ‘a body on the line’. that means someone committed suicide. its sad that people feel their life not worth living to take it away. and just recently i read the victoria line was delayed because of ‘a body on the line’.

my life is very easy going, and i was thinking in a world not so wired up with news available 24hrs, i wont hear of death so much. but nowadays i do hear of a lot of deaths of other people. it is hard not to be a bit depressed on hearing of it. so i harden my heart and block all that out. call me unfeeling but i really cannot bear hearing all this news of deaths of strangers.

i wonder if that is the reason why depression is so prevalent these days. though i can well believe depression has nothing to do with your circumstances, as this news i read of a woman who won the lottery in 2003, committing suicide recently using the train. so even with all that money she still got depressed and killed herself.  i wonder if it is the same body on the line that john told me about that delayed his train. could it be her? all in all, it is depressing. 

i did not intend to write about all that above when i started my rambling talk. but it sure is difficult to get away from it. lets talk of other things that is happier.

john told me his landlord bought him a new oven, to replace the old one that kaput. that is one good thing about renting, though it would depand on how good your landlord is. i think john’s landlord is very good. his rent is only about £400 a month for a 1bedroom flat. i guess it just shows how everything is so cheap outside london. london is really a cocoon of high prices for everything. which sounds so depressing again… 

but lets get back to john’s good fortune in getting a new oven. it costs £400, which seems to me rather a lot to pay. but nevermind, the landlord is the one paying it. john gave me a link to show what kind of oven it is. 

a belling oven 

his oven looks nothing like the link he gave me. he sent me pictures of it.

john's oven

it has hot plate hobs. quite easy to use actually.

it has a ceramic hob. it means it is easy to clean, but i would find it rather strange to use, as i am so familiar with the rings. ah well, i am sure john will get used to it.

added 3.35pm. i got a new message in my email with a invitation to the 

A place in the sun exhibition.
London Olympia 8th – 10th May 2015

i have seen the tv program of course, and enjoy it even though i have no intentions of buying property in other countries. i wonder how they got my email, but whatever the reason, i applied for an invitation ticket. after all if it is free it might be interesting to see what it is all about. 

A hostage crisis is unfolding in Sydney, with a possible Islamist militant connection – Quartz

15 Dec

A hostage crisis is unfolding in Sydney, with a possible Islamist militant connection – Quartz.


i saw this , this morning, first thing when i opened my wordpress reader. it came up because of uber’s response to the spike in the cost due to the algorithm of their price structure. the higher the demand the higher the fare goes up. but it seems uber made a bad call when it said it was so concerned and said that the price hike will encourage more of the uber drivers  to go into the area to pick up people.

on the face of it, it seems logical, after all, who in their right mind will want to go into that area , esp when the police are telling everyone to get out of it. so the incentives must be there. but people are illogical… and so the tweeters rounded on uber and poured scorn on them.

but if u think about it, if the price is not raised, to $100 it seems, there will be no uber taxi to bring them out. on the other hand, you could take the metro, or whatever it is called now. the hostages are allready taken , in the cafe, so really there is no urgency to get out of the area. it seems to me people have lost a sense of perspective.

our market economy racks up the cost of doing the simplest thing. but people can chose to take it or leave it. there are cheap alternatives. people complain about how the poor are disadvantaged because of the cost of these services. but if u look at it another way, u can say the rich are being conned to spend their money by the enticement of the market…. let the rich be suckers for the hard sell, the soft sell, the sell that panders to their egos.

so u can chose to pay AUS$100 to take a uber taxi, or u can just get onto the metro at a fraction of the cost. if u chose the uber taxi dont complain about the cost. and the poor who dont want to pay, dont complain that it is not available for you and feel left out. just no need to envy them, but be smug that there are fools who will be separated from their money.

so my advise to the poor is dont be consumed with envy for the rich, and take the attitude that their so called extravagant lifestyle is simply they are just victims of the high mark up that the market puts on luxury goods that take them for suckers.

it been years since i was in sydney but they have a great and lovely double deck carriage on their train service with seat backs that can flip over to face the other way, which i thought was  a great idea , but have never seen it anywhere else in the world. perhaps they have replaced those trains now. who knows.