London Transport

First working day in London and priority was to get myself across town to Canary Wharf to the KPMG offices.

Bottom Line: London transportation system could eat TTC’s lunch, breakfast and dinner. Rob Ford could take some lessons from London’s mayor Boris Johnson

The experience:  Began on Sunday night as I googled maps of London’s UTube. Found my way to a neat application called Journey Planner. You input the start address and the destination address and out pops various routes. Details walking , buses, tube lines, transfer points, escalators, anticipated time for each portion of the trip and an easy link to google maps at each stage of the about comprehensive support. From about 6 route options, choose one and next morning armed with my preferred choice started out bright and  early

London Traffic

Well, the route looked simple, but in busy Monday morning rush hour traffic, a little more complicated than expected and  I lost my way. Not finding the route 70 bus, I hoped on a route 27 bus and asked the bus driver how to get to Canary Wharf. ( by the way my destination is not exactly close) Very pleasant and courteous he suggested I stay on his bus and he would tell me when I could get off to catch the Jubliee line. Had a lovely turn about Nottinghill for awhile then hopped on my tube…talk about client service excellence!!!!

Next discovery, the fee system… No silly line ups at subway booths, no the Londoners have Oyster smart cards. Get a card, charge it up and away you go. Scan it going in and out and it automatically determines zones traveled and deducts the correct amount. Of course you can load it up with credit at the tube station, or on line or set a minimum amount and it automatically deducts a set amount of  funds from your bank account.

Got to wondering why they were called Oyster cards. So checked out Wikipedia. Turns out Saatchi and Saatchi after much research conceived and promoted OYSTER because  of “ 1) the metaphorical implications of security and value  (hard outer shell and concealed pearl), 2) the association of London and the River Thames with oysters, and 3) the well known travel related idiom ‘the world is your oyster’” Not even sure Ford could articulate metaphorical more points for very smart cards, with very smart brand names!!!

Smart Oyster

        Got to KPMG offices and found more useful smart cards. My employee pass gets loaded with about 3 pounds a day which I can use in the firm’s cafeteria..Yup a cafeteria ( full sandwich deli, salad bar, pasta bar and hot meal bar  and $ for personal use.. it’s a daily use it or loose it option and its true,  3 Pounds may only buy you a soup or a latte but still given the prices of things in London, every Pound is welcome and I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. And of course just like the Oyster card you can simply add credit to your employee card to pay for the rest of your lunch.  So far I have yet to find a place to use my coins and pound notes.

So now this blog has gotten me to thinking where does the saying  “ don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”  come from. Consulted Wikipedia, turns out if someone gives you a horse it would be perceived as ungrateful to inspect the horses teeth.. who knew!!

Thanks to all who checked out the blog and commented!!!

  1. Barb Ramsden said:

    Well I think you should Write a note to Mr. Ford. Do you think he even knows were London England is?
    You may have to send him a map with your note.

    I hope you are enjoying yourself…
    Just talked to Rachel to invite her for dinner but she is going to visit Bob.
    Miss you



  2. Annette said:

    Hey nice scarf! Thanks for the update….. Very entertaining….love the concept of the oyster card….very clever!,,


  3. Susan Zinner said:

    Sounds like you’ve been busy and managed to get grooved in very quickly-pubs, parks and the tube in 2 days-Blimey you’re good! Cheerio!Sue Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 22:45:47 +0000 To:


  4. Kimmy said:

    swans – rivers – coloured trees – and figuring out routes to work! I am VREY impressed! Keep the posts and photos coming!! Love you!


  5. Garet said:

    Awesome! So happy you decided to plunge into the blogosphere. 🙂 I look forward to keeping up with all your news. xo


  6. Elisabeth Markvoort said:

    Enjoyed your first contributions to this blog – great to share your present life in the UK like this. Will certainly follow further!


  7. marjorie said:

    MMMM hate to burst your bubble but the silver line is the best, newest and fastest… I WALKED 10km to work every day for the first few months of my KPMG secondment in London because the week I arrived there was a bombing so… I decided not to take a chance… then I decided what the hell, if I die I won’t know and it will have been worth it (and I was so sweaty when I arrived at the office and there was a lineup of 5 people waiting to take a shower in the one office shower provided for cyclists etc. So I just gave up :o) We used to start at 9:30 (normal entry time) to give people enough time to make up for all the lines that are malfunctioning in the morning :o))) I want to hear if you still feel the same when you return! THis being said, just HAVE A BLAST!!! Don’t forget to go to the market on the silver line on the other side of the bridge, it is WONDERFUL.


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