I left at 5.00 today, hoping that, because of the football, most people would be holed up in their living rooms or local pubs watching it, and hence there would be no traffic.
Well, I was right on the lack of traffic. The roads were eerily quiet, in fact. So eerie that I should've taken it as a PORTENT OF DOOM.
I waited half an hour for a 101 bus to take me to the Jewellery Quarter to get the train. It's only a 15 minute walk, but my ankle was playing up this morning due to the lack of shock absorbers in my trainers so I decided to get a bus. There's usually one at about 5.15 and they tend to be every 15 minutes or so, on average, despite the timeable claiming "every 8-12" minutes (so... that'd be 10, then?) So I waited. And waited. Three went past me in the other direction. And then one finally turned up, with TWO MORE right behind it.
Already quite pissed off and hot by this point, I fumed on that journey for a bit and then walked to the station.
I overheard a girl on her mobile talking to her friend and saying she'd been waiting 15 minutes already. By this point it was 5.35, with no sign of that train. Someone pressed the intercom thing and it informed us that the next train was the 5.45 one. Which, luckily, it was. All three carriages of it, naturally, but it was surprisingly not rammed. I suspect all of the trains before this were, like, abducted by fucking aliens or something. I seem to recall reading something about a train strike, too (oh NOES! The train drivers aren't allowed time off to watch the World Cup!) just to inconvenience the entire country more than the shitty public transport system already does.
And then the second bout of bus-waiting fun started at Rowley. There are two buses that stop outside the station - the 205, which always comes first and is annoying for that reason, and the 258, which is what I get. It's meant to be every 20 minutes, and since the trains are every 10 minutes, technically I should never have to wait more than 10 minutes to catch the bus. Except it's coming from Merry Hill in rush hour traffic and inevitably gets held up. Anyway.
A bus. A 417, in fact, which I've never seen before in my life and am fairly certain was created in that instance soley to confuse and irritate me. I waited half an hour or so and two more buses came along. The first one proclaimed to be a 127, which also doesn't go that way, with a 205 behind it. As the 127 went past me, proclaiming in bright, friendly letters those immortal words "Sorry! Not in service!", I read the number on the back as "258". BASTARD.
Another 15 minutes or so and FINALLY a 258 turned up. Throughout this, there was barely any traffic, and apparently also no trains going towards Birmingham, as three more turned up going the other way while I was standing there. I got off at the chip shop, bought my dinner, and finally collapsed in my house at 7.00pm. Two hours after leaving the office, when there was NO traffic. And all because of the BASTARD FOOTBALL.
If the annoying children in the neighbourhood are anything to go by, I gather that we won. Fucking wonderful; now I have another journey home like THAT to look forward to. By the time I got home I was ready to rip down the nearest England-flag-bunting and garotte people with it. Specifically people in their trendy England football shirts that probably cost more than feeding their kids for a month.
TWO HOURS. On a good day, I can be home in 45 minutes.
I'm so glad I don't have to do this much longer. I know that all I ever seem to do is harp on about public transport, but there's not much else I can actually do about it. If I complain to the "right" people, they'll try to make out that I'm insane, blind or stupid for missing all of the buses that have apparently gone past the bus stop while I was standing there. It makes me sick that we live a society where the norm is to read a bus timetable and not think for one second that it might actually be accurate. Also that it only takes my bus 20 minutes to get into town, but I still have to leave an hour before any scheduled appointment because the fucking thing never turns up on time.
Considering this is the mellowed version of what was stamping and shouting around my head earlier, you should all think yourselves (and your friends-lists) incredibly lucky that I ate food and calmed down before posting. Seriously.
I was going to post about work, too, but most of the annoyance of today was completely swamped by the Journey from Hell. I am tempted to see if a public transport complaining community exists, and if not, to make one. I can't be the only one who's ridiculously unlucky when it comes to travelling by bus, can I?