I got to Victoria nice an early for my coach to Manchester so I treated myself to a liquid breakfast of a lovely pint of beer from The Iron Duke, a snug little pub inside the station. The prices are a bit high (£4.30 for a pint of Speckled Hen?) but I like going in there as it makes me feel naughty ordering a pint of beer at 8am-10am in the morning while everyone around me is drinking coffee or rushing past the windows to get to work.
There is also the entertaining comedy regarding the toilets. They have a lock on them and you have to ask the bar staff for the combination, cue hilarity as people duck in off the street to use the toilets and find the lock and shuffle off to look for another free toilet.
I made the short five minute walk to the coach station and saw my coach was delayed and there was no queue yet so I went to the toilets, I’m not a big fan of being forced to pay 30 pennies to spend a penny but I really hate using the toilets on the coach as they are tiny and have piss and shit all over the place.
The turn-styles were broken so you had to hand the man the 30p and then walk through, as I gave him the money and went to go through he stopped me. He said I wasn’t allowed to go into the toilets with my suitcase, I’ve gone in there many times with my suitcase but I didn’t argue I just asked if I could leave it with him but he said ‘no’.
So what was I meant to do? I then noticed that he was allowing women to go through with their suitcases and pointed this out to him, I said he could search my case if he thought I was planting a bomb, a bomb of underwear and t-shirts wouldn’t cause much damage would it?
Before the debate could become heated his supervisor came along and said I could go in with my suitcase. When I came out of the toilet I said to the attendant that I was sorry if I had been a bit sharp with him and offered him a handshake which he accepted, but little did he know that I didn’t wash my hands, JUSTICE!
For once the coach journey up to Manchester was uneventful, but it does seem like their stops at Coventry, Birmingham Airport & Birmingham city centre are a regular feature now which makes the journey last at least five hours, five hours of not being allowed to move from your uncomfortable seat. Anyone know a good remedy for a numb bum?
The night did end on sour note as I lost my wallet. We were on our way to find something to eat and people were messing about by pulling trousers down and my wallet fell out of my pocket and despite five or six searches it was gone forever. I had £120 in cash, my debit card, my Oyster card and some pictures.
I was more annoyed that I managed to lose my wallet as I’m normally really careful, plus it means that I have to contact the bank and get a new card which is always a pain in the bum.