This was written last week- but the tour is so hectic i am only getting a chance to publish it now!!!
I am on a train... comfortably making my way from London to Edinburgh. But only just!
I missed my 9.30am train by 0.28 seconds!!!!
Thankfully the lovely lady who is head crew of the 10am saw my distress and told me that the ticket office would endorse my ticket for her train...........
I didn’t even know they could do that- but seemingly if you have a good enough reason they will.
The ticket office man wasn’t very convinced by my surprise that the journey in the tube took so much longer than I expected it to. He has fair point; I should have left more time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! However, in my defence, the blister on my hand from pulling around a heavy case on the tube and the fact that my phone was a good 5 minutes behind time were also major factors!
Thankfully, eventually, he agreed to take pity on me and the lovely lady was waiting on the platform for me and sorted out storing my huge case and pointed out where the best available seats were too, so I have a window, table seat, with a plug point!!
Helpful, friendly service. Staff that just wants to make their customers happy, not for a tip or any sort of selfish reason.
UK may have a long way still to go in terms of friendly customer service, if you compare it to the USA that is... but compared to Egypt it was like fresh air.
There are good and bad everywhere, I know that. I also know that if I missed a train or bus in Egypt, unless the man behind the desk took a shine to me, or to my wallet, then the chances of a free, new ticket are very unlikely!!! Also I find a common problem in Cairo is people only looking at their own tiny section of the overall service. So a waiter in a restaurant, for instance, might not take your drinks order, or empty plate when passing and may well even ignore you if you are sitting in an area that is not ‘his’.
I sound fairly disgruntled with Cairo just now, don’t I? I am a bit. No specific reason but I guess it just seems to me to be harder and harder living there. Maybe it’s me, getting weary after nearly 7 years living there, but I am not the only person I know who feels that the city is changing, especially since the revolution, and unfortunately not for the better.
Then again, in Cairo it wouldn’t be 17degress and raining in July!
(Although... to be fair- it is 30 degrees and sunny in London- mind you, in London you have to pay £10 for a sheesha!)