Transport for London – WORST service ever.

A little rant about the lack of customer service of transport for London. Especially the bus drivers…I got on the bus with my BF tonight. He had forgotten his oyster card so he wanted to pay cash. He only had a note of 20 pounds and I only had coins (about 1 pound 60). The bus driver wouldn’t sell him a ticket. He said that you don’t come in the bus with a 20 pound note. We asked if he could please sell us a ticket and he wouldn’t. My BF then got out the bus saying: ‘Thank you very much, I’ll just walk home then’. When I wanted to get off the bus driver just closed the doors on my (I almost got caught in between). He asked me what my boyfriend said. I repeated he said that he’ll just walk home. The driver said that wasn’t true. He said my boyfriend was being abusive. I told him this wasn’t true. He had only said ‘Thanks, I’ll just walk home’ in a sarcastic tone. Then the driver told me I was a liar. I asked him to open the doors so I could get off. The driver wouldn’t let me off and started pulling away from the bus stop, leaving my BF behind. I hadn’t even touched in my oyster card (and didn’t since I wanted to get off the bus, not on). I again asked him to stop and let me off but he wouldn’t. He said I was a liar and that my BF said something else then I told him (which is absolutely not true). The driver kept insulting and offending me all the way to the next bus stop. I asked him his name and he said ‘Doug’. He also asked me if I believed him (clearly meaning that he was lying about his name). After we arrived at the bus stop the driver wouldn’t open the front doors (where I still stood and where other people wanted to get on the bus). He told me I should get off the back. I told him that I hadn’t even paid so I shouldn’t have been on the bus at all. In the end the driver finally let me off once he got comments from other passengers about his behaviour.


I’ve filed a complaint. But I guess nothing will happen again. I have very bad experiences with bus drivers from TFL. A few months ago my bus terminated halfway through the service. The driver told us to get on the next bus. When I tried to get on the driver told me to pay again (even though I already had paid for the trip). He said I needed a transfer ticket  (which I didn’t know and the driver of the previous bus hadn’t told us). Since I didn’t have this ticket he wouldn’t let me on unless I paid (which is very unfair, I didn’t terminate the bus halfway through). Other passengers confirmed my story that I had been on the bus and that it had terminated. But he wouldn’t let me on anyway. I ended up walking home. I’ve filled a complaint about this driver as well. But again, no response.


TFL just happily raises the prices while the service just keeps getting worse. Tubes often delayed or late. No service during the weekend. Tube is overcrowded AND you pay more for it. No air conditioning and rude staff.


How about you, any bad experiences with TFL?


“Happy” travelling everyone!

Rubbish tube

I have a question. Why, if there’s a strike from Sunday evening until Monday evening and the tubes don’t run throughout the night, are there still delays expected on Tuesday morning?

They were on strike until 6.30 pm on Monday. That there is more disruption on Monday evening I can understand. But why in god’s name, is there still disruption expected on Tuesday.

I assume that everyone just gets back to work on Tuesday and come in on the time they would normally come in, so the service would resume as normal. Why do they expect delays?

Londoners already face disruption every week because of the bad service even though the tube is overpriced. Why do they need to make life more difficult? Strike’s over, go back to work!


Pumpkins, loving them!

So I’m Dutch. In the Netherlands we don’t really do Halloween. There might be a few students parties where the girls dress up as prostitutes but that’s about it. No children collecting candy, nothing scary (except a few scary movies).

We have something else though, on the 11 of November we celebrate Saint Martin (see Wikipedia).

In NL elementary school children make paper lanterns, go from door to door to sing songs about St. Martin and to collect candy. Lovely tradition, although not if you look slightly older (like I always did, since I’m tall) and some people slam the door in your face because they feel you are too old, even though your same-aged friends still get candy…youth trauma).

But, to get to the point, I had never carved a pumpkin. I had seen my BF doing it last year. I watched him with interest and tried to roast the seeds in the oven (which I burned obviously, no cooking talent here).

This year I decided it was time I did it myself. I made sure I was prepared by buying a pumpkin carving set from Sainsburys for 50 pence. It contained a 2 different knives (suitable for children :P) and a few stencils with different images you can carve.

To not be lonely, I waited until my mum’s visit (last weekend) and made her do one as well (there was some forcing involved, but she gave in, in the end).

And it was fun! Hard work though, to get all the insides of the pumpkin. Almost got blisters on my hands. I think we had some very decent results, especially since it was the first time for both of us.

See the results for yourself. The bat is mine; the crazy grin is my mum’s.

And you know what the best thing was? The next day my mum wanted to do one again because she thought it was fun and wanted to make a nicer one.🙂


Categories: London Tags: , , , , ,

Mice! Somebody please save me!

10/26/2010 3 comments

Okay, so I never had an issue with mice. You see a mouse in the tube every now and then, fine. Outside, great. Loving the wildlife. In a bag of rice or inside my food cupboard? Not so cool.


I’ll start from the beginning. I think there’s an issue with the house because last Spring/Summer I’ve had some issues with snails, the naked ones. Sliding around my living room. I could see the trails but not find the snails (hey, that rhymes!). Found 4 of them in the end (over 3 months) and always threw them away (what else is a girl to do with them…if they would be French, in the oven with some garlic butter… hmmm). But no, no French snails. And I had no idea what they were doing in my home. Nothing to eat there. I put snail poison all over my carpet, but that didn’t help.


Now I have mice. Yes, bleg. Started in a lower cupboard where I kept my baking stuff (not a housewife but I occasionally bake, not very well mind you). So after cleaning up, storing stuff higher up, buying traps (which never went off, even though they ate the peanut butter off) it seemed to be better. Well, I should be so lucky…


My mum came to visit last weekend and came Saturday morning to with the notion “are you awake enough, I’ve got some bad news”. I figured the foxes where back and dug up my garden again. But no. Mice poo. In my higher up cupboard where I now stored all my food. Gross. So while I took a shower she went out to buy poison so we could get rid off them for once and for all. When she came back we started emptying out the cupboard, seeing what had been attacked and throwing that away (bye bye spaghetti, delicious nuts, and peanut sauce powder). Worst was when I got to the rice. I had 2 packages, both open. Whole grain and jasmine rice (whole grain takes ridiculously long to cook by the way, don’t buy, doesn’t even taste that good).

There was poo in the whole grain rice so that went straight to the bin. I picked up the jasmine rice and had a look. The package is clear but has loads of pictures on it, so I was trying to look through it. When I saw a tail and something grey moving.

I completely, totally freaked out. Really, I’m not scared easily, but I threw the package on the floor (mouse ran away, hiding under the washing machine), while I continued to scream and jump up and down for a good five minutes. After that called my BF in France (visiting his parents) hysterically telling him that he had to come home immediately to protect me from the mice and to get rid of them.

Obviously, he said no….

My mum witnessed the whole episode. She seemed worried but I think she might have been laughing inside😉. I’m not one to be scared easily and especially not of something that tiny. But at that moment I couldn’t think straight.


After some much needed calming down, my mum continued clearing out the cupboard with a vacuum cleaner and I kept a safe distance. Until I saw something moving in a bag of noodles and the whole thing started over again. Called BF again, demanding he would come here and deal with it, which he politely declined. Useless men😛.


After more calming down mum and I put out the poison (which the mice have eaten, YAY) and went to look at diamonds and drink tea to console me.


But still, when I think of that bag of rice which I held, with the mouse inside…I get the shivers. BF mentioned the mouse was more scared than I was. Well, I’m not so sure of that…


Currently I’m totally paranoid with all my food. Got everything which is not in a glass jar of tin can stored away in suitcases (3 in total, stocking up for emergencies). The poison is still out but I’m not sure when it’s safe to put the food back in my cupboards…afraid they might come back again.


Maybe I should move…




Categories: London Tags: , , , , , ,

Living alone

10/15/2010 2 comments

I don’t like to live alone. Do you?

My bathroom door opens inwards, against the bath tub. Most of the time I close my shower curtain a bit after I shower so it can dry. Together with the door it seals of the view to the bath tub completely.

This freaks my out. I always, always, always have to look if there’s someone there. Even though I know there isn’t. As soon as the curtain is dry, I open it, just to be sure.

I have been known for going through my apartment with defensive objects when I get home after being away for a few days. Never anyone/anything there.

A few weeks ago I was awoken at 3am by a strange sound. It sounded like jabadabadaaa. It came from outside (garden side) and seemed to come from the neighbors. The same thing was repeated about 10 times. I was too afraid to get out of bed to see what was going on. I still get the shivers when I think of it.

Yes, I know. I might look tough, but deep inside I’m a scared little girl.

On the bright side, I used to wear earplugs a lot (had noisy neighbors upstairs) and didn’t hear it when the police was in front of our door in the middle of the night. (see BF got to handle everything and I didn’t wake up until he got back to bed. I wish those times would return.

My paranoia was even worse just after the BF moved to Finland for work. I absolutely hated being by myself and every little sound freaked me out. It’s getting a bit better now, but I still keep something defensive close to my bed. So don’t come and surprise me at night, it’s dangerous. For you and for me.




Do I look that young?

10/14/2010 1 comment

Funny thing happened today, again. I tried to buy some alcohol in Sainsbury’s (a British supermarket). And they asked my id. Normally this wouldn’t be so strange, I mean with they slogan “If you are lucky enough to look under 25, don’t be offended if we ask for proof”, or something along those lines.

Thing is, I’ve been buying alcohol since I was 15 (parents, don’t judge, very limited, never got drunk before 17).

That was never an issue. It has never been an issue. Nobody has ever asked me for my id. Not until I turned 22 and went shopping in the UK. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a bottle of wine or something stronger. They always ask it. Even though I do all my shopping at the same supermarket, and always go alone, or with a friend. I meet the same cashiers most of the time, but they still think I’m under 18, strangely.

The same thing happened a few months ago when I went to 2 pubs in one evening. They both asked my id. I asked the bouncer; don’t you think I’m over 18? And he said “No”. After I flashed my driving license he let me in with an embarrassed grin.

I figured it was my hair with made me look young, but it happens all the time nowadays.

I must be doing something right (FYI girls, I’m using a lot of Lush skincare, maybe it keeps me young :P).


As a reference point, me at different ages. Please tell me I don’t like 16 anymore….

Very young, maybe about 6? Back garden of my parents.


Can’t even guess my own age. Yes I did have a thing for rabbits, still do. About 10? No idea.


13 or 14? My high school picture.


About 15 I’d say. Garden again…


During a trip to Newcastle with my best friend. 16 or 17 I believe…


In Germany while working on a boat. 17 years old.


Rhodes, Greece. Was working at the terrible, terrible dutch bar called Down Under (yeah, I know ;)). 18 at the time.


Indonesia. Doing volunteer work for a summer. 19 years old.


Finland, studying (yes it is cold, dark and snowy, but also light, warm and full of nice people). 20 years old.


Finland again, taking a break during reindeer safari. Still studying. 21 years old.


Just moved to London. Hair shoot for Japanese hairdresser. 22 years old.


Visit to the Netherlands to celebrate 23rd birthday.


I think that I can say with pride that I don’t look 16 anymore.

Oh, and other thing that annoys me about Sainsbury’s:

Their rubbish bread bags. They package the bread in plastic bags which are so thin that as soon as you pick it up, all the bread falls out at the back. What is the logic of that? Please explain.


Netherlands, don’t you love it?

The first weekend of October I was in the Netherlands to celebrate my birthday with my family and to congratulate various friends with their baby, engagement, houses and what not.

I had such a great time! I don’t go back that often (1 weekend per 3 months) and every time it’s really nice. I don’t keep in touch with many people (mainly my family and a few good friends) but they are always happy to see me (or at least they pretend they are ;-)).

For my birthday (I turned 23) I got my mum to bake a cake with me, like she did when we (me and my brother) were younger. It took some convincing but in the end we make a delicious mocha cake together. I’m so proud of it!

Most of my family came over on Saturday and showered me with gifts, which were very much appreciated. Due to luggage and creativity issues I was mainly given money, which came in handy when I bought my wake up light (more about that later).

You know what I love about the Netherlands? Cycling. I so enjoy and miss that! It just feels so good, peddling really hard, being slightly out of breath and having the wind in your face. I guess it can’t get any more Dutch.

However, I was a little disappointed with my speed. Since I haven’t properly cycled for 1.5 years (London isn’t ideal for that, too much traffic and they’re on the wrong side of the street) I got slow. From my home to the railway station used to take me 10 minutes when I went to uni in NL, I never, ever missed the train. I thought I could still do it at the same speed. It took me 15 minutes and obviously I missed the train. Even though I ran on the platform and got myself all sweaty. That never happened before! I’m so embarrassed.

But I did get to enjoy the sight of our very special, cyclist adapted trash cans. Now isn’t that handy?


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