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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Heads or Tails Tuesday - Express

It's been a fair few weeks since I participated in Heads or Tails, thanks to my ongoing computer woes. Well, as most of you know by now, my laptop has some serious issues, and I can no longer connect to the Internet with it. However, I've managed to crank up my ancient desktop. Believe me, there is nothing express about the way this machine runs.

On the subject of 'express' - that's today's Heads or Tails theme word. The first thing that came to mind was 'National Express'. I guess National Express is the UK's equivalent of the Greyhound buses in the US. The company runs a network of coach services, serving many of the UK's cities and towns. Personally, I HATE travelling by National Express.

Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against the company. My main bugbear arises from the fact that I suffer from travel sickness. I need plenty of fresh air, and lots of space around me when I embark on a long journey. Guess what? The windows on National Express coaches don't open. They have annoying little nozzle things above the seats that are supposed to supply you with a puff of fresh air, whenever you yank on them. But they never do.

If you ever have to travel on a National Express coach, try to avoid sitting anywhere near the back. That's where the lavatory is located. I once made the mistake of sitting near the back, and was almost gassed by nasty pongs coming from the lavatory. Not to be recommended, especially if, like me, you suffer from travel sickness.

Another difficulty I have with National Express coaches, is getting off the wretched things. The steps are very high. I can get on alright, but thanks to my arthritic spine and accompanying balance problems, the only way I can safely get off a National Express coach, is by sitting on the steps and bouncing down on my bottom. That doesn't go down too well with fellow travellers. Tough!

The last trip I took with National Express was most unpleasant. Some drunken fool sat by me on the return journey, but moved when I refused to talk to him and pretended to be asleep. Then, a silly student insisted on talking on his phone, very loudly, in a foreign language, for most of the four hour journey. When I tried to ask him to keep the noise down, he pretended he didn't speak English. Oddly enough, he understood immediately, when I finally snapped and said: 'either you shut up or I'll make you eat that phone'. Then, as everyone got off the coach, a poor old lady fell off those horrid steps and cracked her head open. Not nice. Especially for her.

I hope you'll forgive this rather lacklustre post. I just don't feel very creative when I'm sitting at a desk. It feels too much like work, and a lot less like fun. So I'll wrap it up in a minute. But before I do, I'd like to pay a tribute to the hostesses who used to dish up hot drinks and snacks on National Express coaches, at an exorbitant price. I don't see them aboard their coaches any longer which is a relief shame. I used to have fun watching them trying to serve teas and coffees on a moving bus, without drenching the intended recipient, or flirting with young men half their ages. Here's my tribute - the aptly titled 'National Express' by the Divine Comedy. Oddly enough, this song is all about travelling by National Express. I hope you find it as hilarious and entertaining as I do. Dont watch if you're offended by the word 'arse'. Enjoy!


Natalie said...

That sounds like a truly horrible experience!

Hootin' Anni said...

I know what you mean. If I travel long distances, I MUST be in the front of the vehicle...not near the back. Or car sickness comes on.

My "Express" is posted. Here's the permalink to make it easier to find...

Come Visit Me Here - Express

Skittles said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your laptop trouble!!!

I had seen someone else mention the National Express, but I didn't know what it was. Now I do. And thanks to your description, I think if I'm ever over that way, I should try to avoid it. LOL!

The video was hilarious!

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Thanks for the peek into public transportation over the pond. I've had the good fortune of only having used local busses before I got a car & planes for a couple of long trips. More than ever, I'm sure Poor Hubby will insist on renting a car wherever we may go in our travels.
I wish us both cooperative computers! It must be spreading because mine is being difficult. Happy Tuesday! :)

Misty Dawn said...

Glad to see you were able to participate! Those buses sound dreadful!

By the way, I made my 500th post on My Dogs Keep Me Sane (the one right before my Heads or Tails post) and you're in it :-)

LadyBanana said...

I travel on the NE fairly often to see my daughter in Leicester and true, it's not the best of experiences! Last time coming back it was so hot I nearly passed out and the driver was a PIG to say the least, yelling at us passengers as if we were stupid.

I love the song though, I always sing it to my partner when we are travelling, just to annoy

andrée said...

I thought it was a grand post! In fact, I think a journey on National Express would be a great blog post (for somebody who doesn't get sick!). I have the same problem with school field trips on school buses with all the diesel fumes. I just can't do it. I am even relieved that gas prices are so high that we may have to cut back our trips!

Raven said...

I hope your laptop recovers. I took Greyhound buses across country many years ago. Pretty much of a nightmare in terms of comfort. I was spared creepy travel companions, though. Don't think Greyhound has ever offered travel hostesses. What a cool/odd idea.

Vixen said...

I didn't find your post lackluster at all. It was highly entertaining (sorry to giggle at your misfortune of sitting in the back of the bus and getting gassed).

Hope your laptop gets better soon, so posting will be fun again and less like work.

Dragonstar said...

Fun video Siani! Many years ago I used to travel by National Express. They've obviously come a long way since then!!!

Nessa said...

I like traveling on buses. Reminds me of my childhood in Austria.

tumblewords said...

Wow! I know that drill. I traveled a couple of times on a bus and it was more than enough. My grandmother, however, thought is was the best way to go. Hmmm. Nice post!