Some London Aloha

My sister and I are headed for the Royal Observatory,

and we’ve decided to take a ride on the Thames to get there.

The boat we jump on is part of the London public transportation system,

accepts the “Oyster” card

you can also use for the bus or “the tube.”

This is my first time in England, April 2017,

and my sister had purchased the card for me before I arrived.

My sister goes first through the line, taps her card on the reader, and moves on.

I tap my card and an error message comes up.

“Go ahead and try it again,” the operator says.

I do.

Still the error.

My sister comes back, asks what the problem is.

He explains there’s no money on the card.

My sister says she put 30 pounds on the card,

that we’ve not used even close to that amount so far.

The operator repeats that the balance is zero.

I ask if I can I pay in cash or by credit card.

I can’t.

I ask if my sister can pay with her card.

She can’t.

Each card is unique to the user and shows how far you’ve traveled

when you tap your card at the end of the trip.

That’s how they charge you: By how far you’ve gone.

“So I guess I can’t get on,” I say.

The operator says, “That’s okay, just go on.”

He waves me through.

“You mean I don’t have to tap?” I ask.

“No, no problem,” he says, “this is a free ride.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s