Oyster Doyster

As of yesterday we are now a four-oyster household – a couple more and some thinly sliced bread and butter and we’d have a nice starter – despite there being just the two of us. This is the low rent urban equivalent of those households with more cars than drivers, but it does make a sort of sense. For a start, the other half’s parents are coming to stay for three weeks in the summer and will no doubt be using them, as will any other visiting relatives who have just the normal number of arms and legs and no desire to swap any of them for a single zone one tube ticket. And for another start, we set off yesterday on foot to go shoe-and-watch shopping, discovered Borough High Street was a rubbish place to buy anything but over-priced cheese, decided to go into town and then realised I hadn’t brought my oyster with me as TfL hasn’t yet found a way of charging you for using the pavements (although now I’ve mentioned it, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time). So it made sense to buy a couple more cards, load them up in readiness for the in-laws, and save ourselves �1.50 to boot. In these surveillance-heavy days, they will also give us scope for untraceable journeys around the capital and could probably even be used for establishing an alibi should such a thing be needed. Get your extra oysters now, before having more than one becomes the noughties equivalent of ‘going equipped’.

But that got me thinking. We’ve put some cash on the cards, which probably won’t be spent until May, plus each card has a three quid deposit, so that’s a nice interest-free loan we’re giving Ken (it’s probably where Tony Blair got the idea from). In the case of the deposit we’re probably never going to claim that back unless we’re actually planning on emigrating or dying, in which case three quid each is neither here nor there and we probably wouldn’t bother. And as a household we’re probably not that unusual. I don’t know how many oyster cards have been issued, or what the deposit-reclaim rate is (google it yourself, I can’t be bothered) but that must add up to, ooh, I don’t know, a lot of money. So just what would happen to TfL if we all suddenly asked for it back at once?

Now there’s something to chew on over the weekend …

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3 responses to “Oyster Doyster

  1. Nice one.
    Come to think of it, i’m not using my oyster card too ( i could try using it in germany ) and they still have my 3 pound deposit. But I dont wanna give up the comfort of knowing whenever i’m gonna be back in London, i’ll have it.

  2. yes but beware, after two years of non-use it will stop working & you will need to contact them to get any balance back …

  3. Pingback: What’s on your Wallet? « Disgruntled Commuter

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