UK Train Prices

So with going back to the UK earlier than planned I had to re-arrange my train ticket as I had already booked the train to get to between Heathrow and Hull.

When I arrived at Kings Cross Station I went to the ticket office to speak to them about changing the date on the ticket to get me back to Hull. I had booked these in advance and got a fairly good price. It worked out something line £30 return or something like that.

When I got to the ticket office and spoke to the guy at the desk he informed me that they could change the ticket over with no problems and that I would have to forfeit £10. So that didn't sound to back. Until the told me what the price of the ticket to get me back to Hull that afternoon. £115 !! I was absolutely gob smacked.

What I can't understand is where they get the prices from. I had no option but to buy the ticket or I would have just ended up been stranded in London. I'd been traveling all day and really didn't want to argue. What made things worst what when I got on the train I struggled to find a seat as almost all the seats where reserved.

The to my surprise the reserved seats where never used for the whole journey back to Hull.

The UK government keep stating that they would prefer the public to use public transport instead of there own cars, and then they allow these company's to charge a small fortune to use such services.

Just a small comparison I can travel from one end of India to the other on a overnight train for less than 500 rs which is less than £5. Yet it costs over £100 to travel from London to Hull which is just over 3 hours.

Something doesn't quite add up in my mind...

Long time, no blog posts...

Well it's been a while since I last wrote anything on here. I've had that much going on the with Christmas and the New Year I just haven't had the time to do anything apart from work, sleep and eat.

I traveled back to the UK for Christmas and the New Year which was amazing. I'd originally planned to return back to the UK on the 22nd December returning back out here in India on the 2nd January. But as things where at the time, I had no project assigned and pretty much nothing to do day to day.

So I decided to tempt fate and request extra leave so that I could travel  back to the UK earlier. I managed to to get the extra leave and rearranged my flight back to the UK for the next day 12th December. Booked a taxi to get to the airport and then went to say goodbye to a couple of friends.

My plan was to stay awake until I boarded the flight, which worked out quite well, My taxi arrived at 3:30 am to get me to the airport and off I went. The traffic was pretty good at that time of the morning so I arrived at the airport around 4:45.

What was even better was the fact that I had already checked in online the day before, So it was just a matter of dropping my baggage off and then straight through security and into the departure lounge. My flight was at 8 am so I still had plenty of time. Had a wonder through the shops and then by that time they where boarding people onto the plane.

I traveled with British Airways as they offered a direct flight from Bangalore to Heathrow, which was much better than having to change in either Mumbai or Delhi. So off we went the whole 10 hours and 50 mins back to the UK. The flight wasn't to bad and because I'd not had any sleep, I decided to have a few drinks which then worked a treat allowing me to sleep almost all of the remaining flight.

The food was also good.

Once I landed at Heathrow and got through the various checks collected my luggage and headed fr the tube to get me over to Kings Cross Station to catch the train back to Hull.

I also decided to call my mam as she had no idea I was going to be home for Christmas, so this was a surprise. Although I called her from my UK number she still didn't realize until I told her I was stud in London and I'd be back in Hull within the next 3 hours.

I had planned to get home drop my luggage off and pop down to the local for a beer or two, but by the time I was back home I just didn't have the energy to go or do anything. So I decided to just to call it a night and catch up with everyone the next day.

The next morning I was up bright and early as my body clock hadn't adjusted back to the UK time and I was still five and a half hours in front. From that day onward I pretty much managed to see and visit everyone I wanted to. Within a day of been back I was back in the DJ booth and out and about with friends in the various pubs around my local area.

The whole Christmas and New Year was amazing. It was so nice to catch up with everyone. 

Been spending...

So this week after my Fujitsu camera gave up on me. I decided to go out and take a look at what was on offer. My initial plans was to go out and take a look round some of the shopping malls out here in India, decide what I wanted and then come back and order online.

So off I went, the first and only mall I visited was the Forum mall here in Bangalore which is about 20 minutes on the local bus from where I live. It has a number of shops which sell anything from books to clothing through to general shopping.

I had a look round a couple of the camera shops and set my eye on a Nikon D5100. 

Transient

After speaking to the people in the shop I wondered off and had a look online via my phone. Out here in India things a generally a lot cheaper than back in the UK, after looking online noticed that the offer in the shop was better than online. I was quite surprised. So I decided to go back and buy the camera I had seen,

I'm so glad I did, the same make and model would have cost me over £150 more to buy in the UK

Since then I've managed to get some great use out of it. So all in all a god purchase from what I cam make of it. Although I still hate shopping. 

Long Strange Week

Well after getting back from Goa and returning back to work I was looking forward to the week ahead as I was about to enter into a new project and I'd had two nice long weekend's rest.

So Monday morning up as usual and made my way to work. The day started off in meeting with my managers and then following on to meet the new project team in which I'm going to be working with for the next 6 months.

This started off well and most of the meetings where out of the way my lunchtime and we where able to break off for the rest of the day. So that's what I did, returned back to my apartment and just relaxed for the rest of the day. Tuesday morning made my usual way into to work looking forward to getting started. Unfortunately things didn't workout as planned and for the rest of the week and the middle of the following week things seemed to go from bad to worst.

The past week and a half I've been going into work at 11 am and finishing almost 2-3 hours later. This has begun to wind me up by the middle of the second week and I was unsure how long I could have gone on for before I would have gone insane.

Transient

It's great having time off don't get me wrong, but it's no fun not knowing when and what time you have to be in work for one day from another. Unable to plan anything, arrange trips or go out with friends.

Luckily as of yesterday things seem to have improved, and we are now managing to get some work started etc. The thing that I think this comes down to is the Indian culture differences. I like to be kind of organised and like to know whats happening form day-to-day but the Indian people seem to be so laid back that sometimes it does kind of wind me up. I suppose that just the way I am and the Indian people are.

Just to set the record straight I'm in NO way calling or mocking the Indian people, I have met some amazing people since I've been here and made some great friends. These people are some of the hardest working people I have ever met, when there is work to do they just get on with it and complete it.

So I suppose it kind of teaches us two lessons, 

  1. All cultures have their differences
  2. Most English people just think about work when at work and don't think about enjoying themselves while there. I suppose I can defiantly relate to this from previous employment where you where just expected to work, work, work.

Weekend in Goa

Sunny Goa

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Spent the weekend in Goa as it was the Diwali festival out here in India and with having an extra day off work it worked out quite nice.

I even managed to get get the Thursday afternoon off from work so I could catch the flight from Bangalore. I'd looked at my options of flying out on the Friday but the flights where much more expensive. So after leaving work at 12:30 I jumped into a taxi, stopped off at my apartment to grab my luggage and headed to the airport. My flight wasn't until 4:40 so I had plenty of time to get there.  

The drive normally takes about one and half hours from Electronic City but I'd already told the driver I was in no rush. So he took a steady drive which took around two hours. By the time I had reached the airport headed through security and into the departure lounge. I still had plenty of time relax before I had to board the flight.

I'd book my flight with GoAir, The flight was a little delayed so we didn't take off until just gone 5 o'clock. Although we seemed to make up the time while in the air and we arrived on time in Goa at 6:10. As soon as I disembarked the flight the heat hit me, 30 plus degrees. Here in Bangalore the temperature hovers around the mid 20's so the humidity isn't to high and it's quite pleasant. Not that I'm complaining, It was nice to have a long weekend off and to be able to visit somewhere different. So after getting through the airport which didn't take long at all as it was a domestic flight and I only had hand luggage with me. I had a driver waiting for me to take me to where I was staying with my friend Gary who had traveled out to Goa the day before and he had managed to arrange the same driver which he had used. Although there was a bit of a mix up as he had asked me to text him my flight details and I had sent him my departure time instead of the arrival time.

That didn't seem to be an issue for the driver thankfully, It's the beginning of the season out in Goa and the locals seem to be happy to take any work they can get at the moment. It was about an hours drive to the place where we was going to stay and so we headed off. The taxi service in Goa is regulated by the local authorities, they have a set price for the trip from the airport to Anjuna of 1060 rs, which works out about £10.

So after arriving in Anjuna which is in the north of Goa, Gary was there waiting for me to arrive. He had arranged somewhere for us to stay for the weekend. This happened to be nothing but a barn with two beds in it, we had to laugh. I wasn't complaining though at 200 rs per night, it was a bargain. We where happy, all we needed was somewhere to sleep at night and somewhere to leave our luggage.

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The place was very pleasant and reminded me of the film "The Island". The owners where also very pleasant. Once I'd had drop my luggage into the room or should I say shed. We decided to have a wonder next door where there was a bar. This just had to be done.

The weekend consisted of a few beers on the Thursday night, which was literally a few beers as I was so tired and they just wouldn't go down. On the Friday we decided to have walk up to the beach and have a few beers at the same time. This ended up been most of the day, the weather was amazing. Anjuna beach was very clean and looked like it was looked after well. Although it was very early in the season and that may change as the season progresses.  

There are a number of restaurants along the beach front serving many different foods along with fresh fish and seafood. The fish was really good. They have a number of local boats that go out to fish in the evening so what you get in the restaurants is the catch from the evening before. For me you can't get any better than that.

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The afternoon we where on the beach there was two boats which they where getting ready to go out for the evening. When they where ready to depart they managed to get most of the local staff from the restaurants and bars to give a hand getting the boats out to sea. This also included my friend Gary, I took the opportunity to take a few pictures. 

In the evening we decided to go out and try some of the local fish dishes, we defiantly wasn't disappointed. The fresh fish was amazing. There was so much of it, neither of us could finish and we where quite disappointed as it was so nice. We had the local rock fish. This is a very meaty fish which had been marinated with spice, sewed and char-grilled served with chips and salad. all for 500 rs each.

The Saturday we had arranged for the driver to take us out and about for the day. We managed to get a deal which cost us 3000 rs (£30). He picked us up at 9 o'clock and took us to a number of places, the waterfalls and spice plantation.

We visited the spice plantation first of all, I found it quite interesting but It was very short. It cost us 400 rs each which included the tour and food at the end. The tour guide explained the processes of a number of different spices which they process within the plantation. After we had finished here we headed up the road where we was offered elephant rides. So we took the opportunity to do so. I felt quite sorry for the elephant as all it seemed to do was walk around in a circle all day long. After that we then headed off to the waterfall.

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This was the second waterfall I had visited while been in India. This one was slightly better than the one I had previously been to as you where able to get into the water. Getting to the waterfall itself was a 10k 4x4 drive which was fun. It took around 30 mins to reach the waterfall and then we had to hike over a number of small rocks and streams to reach the main area. There was a number monkeys around and they didn't seem to bother much. Unlike the ones we have here around my apartment, but that's another story. 

We had just over an hour at the waterfall which was plenty of time for a swim and chance to take a few pictures. We then got back to the 4x4 and headed back to the where our driver was waiting for us. Heading back in the 4x4 we stopped off to a small place where they asked us if you wanted a drink. We had the chance to try out the local Feni. This was a alcoholic drink which is made with either Coconut or Cashew. We tried the cashew variety which was really nice. To me it tastes a bit like vodka but without the after taste.  

Once we where back we caught up with our driver and headed back to Anjuna. He offered to stop of at one of the temples but we where exhausted and just headed back. 

 

The Sunday morning we decided to head to one of the local bars to catch some breakfast as I was heading back to Bangalore in the afternoon. So we just stayed local and had a walk along the beach front. Overall the weekend was great fun and it was nice to have a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Bangalore. Anyone who had ever visited Bangalore will understand. The traffic is almost non stop 24 hours a day. Goa was so much more relaxed. 

One thing I would say about Anjuna is that there didn't seem to be a great deal of things to do. If I was going there for a holiday I could easily find myself running out of thing to do and see. There are a number of other resorts along the Goan cost but I can't really comment on them as I've not yet visited them.  

Anjuna is also very well known by the hippy culture and you will find a number of the hippies in and around the area.

Another thing I also found as we where approached a number of times by people offering drugs. Other than that I'm glad I had the chance to visit the place and I'm looking forward to visiting more of the Goan cost in the future.