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Refusing To Validate Their Excuse

, , , , | Right | July 15, 2021

In London, you have one card that can be used on public transport within the London area, regardless of kind of transport.

On the bus I take each morning are two young women who are clearly used to getting their way. They hug four seats and nurse hot drinks — open drink containers are not allowed — each day. They also have distinct English accents. Although in principle, passengers are required to show proof of payment, most people just get on the bus.

This morning is a bit different, as a control unit boards the bus. They close exits and check if you’ve paid your fare.

Controller: *In Dutch* “Tickets, please.”

Woman #1: *Looking very innocent* “I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had to pay for the bus in Belgium. Where I come from, you don’t need to.”

Me: “Strange. I’m pretty sure that last month in London, I had to pay for the bus.”

Woman #1: *Throwing me a look to shut me up* “Well, we only have tickets for the subway.”

Yes, she did have a ticket she had to validate upon boarding, valid for ten fares.

Controller: *In English* “It is the same ticket for the subway and the bus.”

Woman #2: “Oh, I’m sorry, we didn’t know. It is different in London. We will use it next time.”

Me: “Hmm. I’m pretty sure that I used the same ticket on the bus as well as on the subway in London.”

Both women glare at me, sending a clear message to butt out. I just smile, friendly.

Woman #1: “We are just here for a month and these tickets are expensive.”

Controller: “You can take a season ticket for a month and take as many trips as you like.”

Sadly, the controller let it slide this time and didn’t make them validate the ticket, either, as I’ve seen on other checks. On the plus side, I didn’t see them on this particular ride anymore.

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