A few months back, I wrote in my blog about going to a rave with friends and staying out all night. (The entry was titled Experimental Log published 04 March 2006. q.v.) I should have learned a lesson that evening. But it probably isn’t the lesson you are thinking of. The lesson is why raves run 'til the early hours of the morning. For those of you planning a visit to London, please take this as a lesson: The Tube and the Rail service do not run all night long.
Last night on my way home from the pub a friend called me; he was over here on business and got my mobile number from a mutual friend. He apologized for calling and said he hoped that it was okay that he had my number.
"Of course! Of course!" I replied. It was good to hear from him.
It turned out that he was over here on business and that his mates from work were planning a night out and he wanted to know if I wanted to tag along. So I diverted my path from home to the train station in Surbiton and caught the next train into London.
It was real fun, we went to a pub for a couple drinks and then headed out to a dance club. It was good seeing my friend and meeting his new co-workers, but I was not in a mind to be out all night so I said good bye around midnight and headed off to the tube station. Arriving at 12:30, I saw gates down over the entry. When I asked the woman in the London Transit uniform, she said that this station closes at midnight and that I would have to take a bus back to Waterloo.
I caught a bus two bus transfers later, I was arrived at Waterloo only to find that the last train to Surbiton had left already and the station was in the process of closing for the night. There were no more trains to Surbiton (or anywhere else) and wouldn't be until the early train at 06:00 (four hours away).
I stopped a few of the staff and asked if anyone knew of a night bus to Surbiton, Kingston, or anywhere in my general area and was told that there were none that far to the south. I got the same story from some of the bus drivers that I asked. (The ones that spoke English enough to understand my question.)
So, I took a cab from Waterloo back to Surbiton. An expensive ride (£45.00) but it was better than waiting out the morning in the drizzle on the steps of Waterloo Station. Next time I am in town beyond Midnight, I think I will just keep dancing. It will be better exercise and cheaper!
When I got back to my bicycle, I did take a bit of a ride and arrived back home some time after three o'clock. I made some breakfast and hit the pillows. What a morning!
I hope that wherever you are today, you are having a great morning!
Don Bergquist - 26 August 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK