Travel TerrorsI had a total of three scary moments during my trip.
Moment 1: Friday night at work, 8pm. Everyone's gone home, and I leave the building. I discover that I've left the headlights to my hired car on all day. The engine wont start. I dont have a badge to return to the building. There's no phone number on the Avis key, and no phone that I know of in walking distance anyway.
Solution. I waited by the door, and within a minute someone I knew, Jeremy (I'd met him when he visited the Santa Cruz office once) walked out. We went back in the building, and called a tow truck. Cost: 30 pounds.
Moment 2: Sunday night, I'd gone to the movies. Saw Gosford Park. (Which, by the by, made a fine post-Windsor-Castle little entertainment.) Movie lets out about midnight. And... I don't have enough coins to buy a correctly-valued parking coupon to leave the automated car park. Oops!
Solution. I checked several pubs, all were closed, but one still had the workers inside. After rapping on the glass, they consented to trade my paper fiver for a few coins. They only did it because they were quite visibly counting out the day's cash, and knew I could see them handling all the money, so they couldn't deny that they had it. "Normally, we don't do this..." "Yay. Thank you!"
Moment 3: Next Saturday night, after a precision tourist day in London, I'm catching the late train back to Marlow. Confusedly, I watch the Maidenhead station recede into the distance, belatedly recalling the clear train route diagram that shows it as my connection point. Oops!
Solution. Fortunately, I'd only caught the late train, not the amazingly late train, or the last train. I waited an hour in the cold at the next station, and then an hour in the cold at Maidenhead, for the increasingly infrequent trains. Yay. Cost: 2 hours. Got home about midnight.
Well. Not terribly terrifying, in retrospect, I guess.