Adventures in Oxford

The story so far: Nathan and Jon are outside Oxford’s train station, wondering how to pay a quick visit to a friend who lives somewhere in the city.


The driver almost yelled the word at us. Jon and I looked at each other with mild concern. Had Care in the Community progressed to the nightmarish conclusion of forcing the mentally unsound into the service industry? Had Father Jack had a secret lovechild who’d always wanted to be a bus driver? We turned back to the driver, who was glaring at Jon.

“I’m sorry?”


We were confused further. Did he mean two pounds? Did he mean that there were two of us? (He was right – there were indeed two of us.) Was it some kind of test to see if we were the spies he was waiting for? In which case, what was the correct response – ‘be or not to be’ or ‘sleep perchance to dream’? How could we possibly ask him what the hell he was talking about without simply saying ‘what the hell are you talking about?’ Given the lack of small change on my person, I came up with a brilliant plan.

“Jon… Would you like to buy my ticket too? I have no coins.”

“Ah! Make that two tickets, please!”


Victory was ours! Money was exchanged, and, revelling in our success, we made our way to our seats. It’d take more than a deranged man driving a bus to stop us – not that something else wouldn’t try…


  1. “TWO!” “FOUR!”

    That sort of me surprised me when I went abroad to Europe this year. As everyone uses Euros, they’ve stopped naming the currency when giving prices, so you’d take four apples to the till and the girl would say “Two!” to you (well, in French/Italian/German/etc), and that’s considered quite normal, whilst I’m left standing there deciding whether or not I’m seeing double.

  2. Weird. Everyone uses pounds here – yet (almost) everybody mentions the currency they’re asking for. I’ve never been asked for eight forty six or the like when I’m in Tesco. Blimmin’ lazy French (or whoever).

    Although perhaps the driver was European. (European and insane.)

  3. There was an ad over here… a fence with a peephole in it. People on the other side chanting “nine nine nine nine…” Guy comes along and looks through the hole to see what all the chanting’s about… and gets poked in the eye. Chanting becomes “ten ten ten ten”.

    I have NO idea what it was an ad for, but was bloody funny.

    Oh, and “Lawkes!”


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