Adventures in Technology Number One
I don't often like to be away from the Merse but an exception is when you emerge from Green Park Tube station on a warm Spring morning, a cup of Latte in one hand, serious papers for the Foreign and Charlie Office in the other and then have to walk through long dead Daffodils and rampant Pelicans in St James Park under trees in their spring foliage to where the FCO gave you so many years of gainful employment all that time ago. Such a contrast to exiting from the Hutton underground on the Rural and River Line-all stations to Reston, to a chilly blast and daffodils un bloomed and frog spawn un ejaculated.A tale of two nations indeed.
I had bought a cheap day return at Palmers Green station to convey me to Westminster and back at the 'strewth knock me down price' of £6.90. Or £7 in Scottish money at the current rate of exchange. On alighting at Green Park-a stop short of Westminster my card refused to open the the exit barrier. A friendly functionary tried it again and the gate reluctantly let me through. 'Where are you going?' asked the FF -no doubt spotting a country bumpkin, confused and vulnerable in the bewildering Big Smoke. 'Westminster' 'But this is Green Park, Westminster is a stop further on the Jubilee Line' 'I know but I wanted a walk' ' But does your ticket know that? That could have been the problem?' I looked at my ticket. It looked unblinking back. I noticed that I had been given a one day travel card-presumably cheaper than the return. I pointed this out to the FF-'Look it does not say Westminster-how can it know exactly where I wanted to go?' 'Ah' he said, taking pity on the elderly technophobe:
'Its a smart card'
As I left the station heading for Latte and London. I looked back
The FF was convulsed with laughter.
Disgruntled Commuter subsequently told me that Travel Cards are not 'Smart' but I am sure mine had at least a fairly high IQ. Otherwise.....
Labels: Big Smoke 'Smart cards