It’s been a few years since my last column, but after a lovely email requesting “Friday’s Girl” make a return, I thought it was about time.
As some may know, I’ve spent the last few years travelling the globe, regularly popping back to my home town to catch up with friends and to work back at the Lynn News. I’ve been back in the UK for just a few months but I have already felt the wrath of the our public transport system on many occasion.
I’ve been shocked by the extortionate prices of the trains for what often seems a pretty rubbish service compared to other countries I’ve travelled through.
Forced to pay over £70 for a day trip to London, facing constant delays and cancellations, and don’t even get me started on the lack of heating during the recent cold spell.
But last week’s trip to London really took the biscuit. Attending an event on Monday night, I was planning to get the last train home ready for work the next day.
But I arrived at the station to find no trains to King’s Lynn on the boards, rushing over to customer service, I was told by three different members of staff if I jumped on a train to Cambridge, it would be carrying on all the way to King’s Lynn.
Naturally, I took them at their word and jumped on the train seconds before it departed, only to be told by another passenger the train would terminate at Cambridge.
I had left behind a place to stay in London for the night, and now I was to be stranded at Cambridge station until the trains started up again the next morning - talk about some seriously bad karma.
When I contacted the rail company to complain that I was left alone on the platform at gone midnight, they said there was nothing they could do.
Thank goodness for kind staff and generous hearts. One of the train drivers took pity on me and, after we failed to get through to a nearby hotel to find me a place to stay for the night, he said I was welcome to wait for the first train in the staff room.
It’s thanks to him that I got to spend a night in a safe, and warm, room instead of sitting out alone in the dark at Cambridge station. It’s thanks to him that I didn’t find myself wandering the streets of Cambridge looking for a place to stay until the trains started up again.
I could be annoyed at the fact that I was told the wrong information and was left alone on the platform late at night.
But let’s be honest, the real moral of the story here, is that actually kindness can come from the most unexpected of places.
You spend your life being warned about “stranger danger” and not trusting anyone, but in the last few years of travelling I’ve found that the most generous souls are the ones you least expect.
Next time you see someone in need, don’t be the person who leaves them on the platform.
To read more about Lucy’s travels, visit her adventure travel and lifestyle blog, Absolutely Lucy.