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Thursday, July 21, 2011

21 July 2011, Thursday
Life in London - Take Two - Going home late

Today's the first time I went home after 10pm. I left work at 10.45pm and rushed to Leicester Square Tube Station to take a Northern Line train to Kennington, and from there I change trains to Balham Tube Station.

From there I go up to Balham National Rail Station. I arrived at the platform at 11.27pm. Not all trains that stop here travel the same route. There are plenty of destinations that the trains go, Sutten, Tattenham Corner, Epsom, etc. Therefore, not all trains stop at Norbury, which is my intended destination.

The train that I was waiting for kept delaying. Before I knew it, many other trains passed, and the time was approaching midnight. I had waiting for 30 minutes without a train. People who waited for a while began to go back down, out of the station. 

So there I was stuck at Balham National Rail Station, fearing that the last train has passed. I explored the possibilities and how I could get home, or at least not get stuck in the middle of nowhere after all the transport has gone.

Norbury was just 2 stops from Balham, but this is the National Rail we're talking about. Distances are quite far compared to 2 tube stations. I could go back where I came from and spend the night at work, or I could try and look for bus stops and explore bus services. Maybe I could even hail a taxi, if they accepted card payment of course (I did not have a lot of cash on me). 

Worst case scenario would be for me to try and walk my way back, but now as I contemplate the distance between the two stops, it meant that I would probably have to walk along some highway or roads that are hardly lit.

So I approached an information kiosk, and spoke into the mic, asking for information on the next train to Norbury station. The man at the other side (yes there were still people working at that hour), he told me there would still be trains to Norbury. All I had to do was wait again. 

Finally the train came and I got up and arrived safely at Balham station. From there I had to walk about 10 minutes to get home. Even at a fast walk, it did take me about 10 minutes to reach. I arrived at home at 12.40pm.