31.3.17

4 hours on a megabus

After a blaring row with my boyfriend which ended an already devastating week, I tried to make a quick escape back home to London. I wanted a dramatic exit. However, I was quickly brought back to reality when I was reminded of the cost of travel. Even if I could afford to, I wouldn't pay £50 for a single train fare. Also, the new 25% UNiDAYS student discount on National Express does fuck all in an emergency as you can only book trains for three days time at the earliest. I resorted to Megabus and found a £3 coach ticket departing mid-afternoon on Monday. I have a love-hate relationship with Megabus. It's cheap, which I love. But, it's cheap for a reason: it's always late (which I hate, obviously).

15:17pm
A good half an hour after the expected departure time, I'm finally on the damn coach. I pushed my way to the front if the queue with no shame as I have very specific seating requirements. I seated myself near to the toilets but not so close that I could smell anything vile. Some of you may be horrified at the fact that I'd even use these toilets but any drop of liquid runs straight through me totalling approximately one wee per hour so I don't really have a choice not to.

Travelling at 3 in the afternoon on a Monday made for a half empty coach with 2 seats per customer. This meant my bag could be as (un)comfortable as me sat on the seat next to me.

15:44pm
Within the first half an hour, I'd already finished my entire meal deal which I still regret three days later. My meal deal was from Boots, one of the best of the UK high street providers of meal deals. The only place that even comes close is The Co-op, an unlikely contender, I know. I got a Tennessee BBQ Chicken sandwich which although had some really nice coleslaw in it, there was a disappointing amount of chicken given my hunger levels. I got a Naked smoothie, one with all the berries. To finish off, I had a cookie dough brownie which was just as good as it sounds.

Whilst I ate, I watched an episode of Love, a Netflix Original, which I really can't tell if I like or not but I continue to watch nonetheless.

16:16pm
I was mesmerised by this guy drinking Innocent smoothie who was sat just a couple of seats away from me. He had a litre bottle from which he poured the drink into a disposable plastic cup. I watched him top up effortlessly several times. This was a brave move on a moving vehicle alone let alone this paticular coach which was now definitely speeding due to its lateness. Anyway, he managed it so well with no spillages whatsoever.
16:58pm
A 30 minute stop at a service station waiting for a relief driver would have been hell unless I hadn't caught a Pidgeot (FYI, that's a Pok√©mon). Also, it was pretty amusing watching people pile out of the bus to fill their lungs with either fresh air or nicotine. It wasn't long before someone spoke by complaining about the outrageous waiting situation. This instantly formed a bond between passengers and I suddenly felt left out. How weird.

We were under strict instructions not to wander off inside the service station as the driver would be forced to leave without you if he arrived before you got back. I was slightly gutted because the sight of the KFC had perked up my otherwise shitty mood. I'm desperate try a Dirty Louisiana and I'm worried I'll miss out because it's limited edition. That's the kind of life I lead - a very sad one.

17:09pm
I'd been putting off using my laptop because I wasn't sure I was ready for the task of balancing my very expensive Macbook on my lap on a moving coach. By this time though, my phone was at less than 10% and I needed a power outlet.

I'm currently dealing with a dress in place of my laptop case because mine has mysteriously disappeared. The dress, however, was slightly damp which caused the stickers on the back to peel off slightly. I'm honestly heartbroken.

17:45pm
I'm pissed off because:

1. I've become to the realisation that I'm meant to be pulling into London Victoria in 45 mins but we're still well over 90 fucking minutes away
2. After spending about half an hour attempting to watch YouTube on the shocking megabus wifi whilst charging my phone via my laptop, I've just noticed not one, but two, plug sockets
3. I'm hungry

18:13pm
I tried and failed to get some sleep to get some sleep because until you get off the motorway the view is pretty bleak once it gets dark as you can't see the pretty fields that pretty much all look the same anyway.

Finally off of the motorway and on to some A-road, we passed Spring Grove, a retirement home. The place looked like something out of a comedy cult classic or something you might expect to find featured on Vice as part of a photo series on old people doing something really normal like eating breakfast.

18:31pm
We passed St. John's Wood tube station which has what I can only describe as a tropical garden display on it's doorstop. One day I'd love to do one of those alternative tours where you visit cool ass tube stations, especially the creepy abandoned ones.

I never come to this end of town anymore mostly because I have one specific memory that will haunt me forever. Back when I was a waitress, I was hired to work a party at a private client's home and their house was located just a minute's walk from the station. As my first shift ever, little 17-year old me was on the brink of a nervy b. Despite my shaky demeanour, I got put on tray service. The guests were greeted on arrival by me and a couple of others holding trays full of drinks free from them to help themselves too. My tray consisted of about 10 cocktails, Raspberry Bellinis to be specific, which were bright pink in colour.

A single moment hadn't even passed before I'd dropped a full tray on their beautifully tiled, light grey concrete patio. The glass shattered into a million and one pieces, many of which flung themselves onto the grass making it potentially dangerous for guests. The cocktail stained instantly and the look on the owners faces let me know that this would be my first and last shift here. Believe it or not, this was not the only time it happened. The second time was even more horrific as the party had got busier and I received a cheer from a balding man in a shirt that matched the colour of his sunburn and possibly the new colour of the patio too. I was quickly removed from tray service duties and sent to collect glasses instead.

18:57pm
I love London and every time I leave I almost forget just how much. Driving through London at night, even if it is on a coach filled with strangers, is quite magical. London is a land of possibilities and my arrival in the city always bring on an overwhelming feeling like anything could happen although anything rarely does.

19:19pm
Thank fuck, I've made it. I experience separation anxiety from my luggage (yes, really) so I'm so glad to finally be reunited with my suitcase. Well, I was happy until I remembered that I've got half a mile to walk until my bus stop. A walk which will seem miles longer due to the fact that I really needed a wee but the toilets at Victoria Coach Station were 30p to use.

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