…Nickelback Concert, 02 Arena, 20th October 2016.

I’m not sure if I have ever told you guys about the comping that I do. Don’t know how considering when I do it almost every day! Anyway, I’m sure most of you have heard of it. But for those that haven’t, basically you enter as many competitions as possible, with the theory that you will eventually win something. Because the odds are a lot higher of winning when you have entered 100 competitions, as opposed to just 1. I don’t even remember how I got in to it to be honest. I somehow stumbled on to the Money Saving Expert Forum, which had a page full of comping tips. Then it just went from there. There is a forum page where users upload hundreds of competitions a day. But I know what you’re thinking, why upload a competition for everyone else to enter? Surely you would you want to keep it to yourself? But no, the people on this forum are all dedicated to helping each other win, which is awesome really. I’ve been doing this for about 3 years now and in that time, I’ve won about 12 items. All varying from DVDs, Event tickets and Tech goods. That seems quite a lot but then I’ve entered literally thousands of competitions. At first I was getting quite frustrated and I didn’t win anything in the first year.  But then I started to see the fun side of it once I realized that I wasn’t going to win every competition I entered. It then just became a fun hobby. For the sake of 3 seconds filling out form with an Auto fill app, I’m in the running for a top prize. You have to be in it to win it after all. And, because I enter so many, I genuinely forget what they are for. So out of the blue I get an email saying I’ve won this or something turns up in the post. That for me is the best bit about it. The spontaneous nature of the wins. You may get 2 wins one week but then nothing for a month. I love it.

And this is what happened last week. On Wednesday I came home to a serious looking package. Straight away I was like “OOOOOO could be a win!” Excitedly I opened the package to discover two standing tickets for Nickelback at the 02 Arena, for the next day! Thing is I didn’t get an email or tweet to tell me that I had won. So, this really was a surprise. I did a quick check though and I had entered a competition for tickets, but if I hadn’t it’s not like I wouldn’t have still gone haha. So yeah last Thursday me and girlfriend were originally booked to watch Inferno at the cinema, but Nickelback trumped that! It’s not every day where you win free tickets to a gig. So off we went to London! But sadly, it didn’t go as smoothly as previous visits. If you have been to the 02 Arena, you’ll know that it’s easy to get to on the underground. Well we were 5 stops from North Greenwich when we heard on the tanoy “Due to a security alert, this train will not be stopping at North Greenwich. Please get off at Canada Water and get the 188 bus”. Me and my girlfriend looked at each other and read each other’s mind…“Oh Shit” was clearly what we were thinking.  So, reluctantly we get off at Canada Water station and find the bus station. And what do see? Absolute chaos. There were hundreds of people who were all clearly doing the same as us. We just had no idea what to do. Looking around thinking this is karma for all the successful trips we’ve had in London this year. The bus at this point seemed hopeless due to the amount of people, plus it was delayed. So, Taxi was the next option, but after looking at Google Maps it was going to take 40 minutes in traffic to get to the Arena. Which would have cost an arm and a leg and then some. So, getting a Taxi was off the cards.

We befriended a couple around us at the bus stop who were going to the same place. All discussed options on what to do etc. We were about a 90-minute walk from the arena. But none of us wanted to do that, especially in an area that we didn’t know. But we decided to walk a little, as the taxi option came back in to play. Considering at this point nothing else seemed possible. And we couldn’t miss the concert. So therefore, we walked aimlessly and stumbled upon a Tesco’s. Hoping for a cab to show. None did. But what we did spot was a bus stop. We thought maybe the 188 bus might come through, and after 5 minutes, one did just to that! We pegged it to the bus, only for the driver to tell us that the one we wanted was on the other side of the road. With that in mind we all ran to the other bus stop only to see another group of people, clearly doing the same thing. A 188 bus came, but it was too full to get on. It had no doubt came from the station and had crammed on as many people as possible. Another 5 minutes passed until the next 188 bus came. This one we managed to get on, luckily. Breathing a sigh of relief thinking this is it now, this will take us there and we’ll get there in time to eat. It was around 7.30pm at this point. The traffic was so bad. But it was London at rush hour, duh. But why does London need so many goddamn traffic lights? Christ forget decorating the streets with Xmas lights, the traffic lights are more than enough given the sheer number of them!

I would like to say that the journey was plain sailing from there, but it wasn’t. The bus stopped 20 minutes up the road and a whole load of other people got on and clearly there was no room. Suddenly the lights went off and the bus shut down. A loud groan filled the air. Another look was exchanged between me and my girlfriend. This time it was the “Are you actually fucking joking” look. A look that I’ve seen many times, but normally at the expense of myself and not shitty London travel. It clearly wasn’t moving. Not sure what had caused it but we got off and started to walk yet again. We were still a 40-minute walk from the arena but it’s all we could do at this point. A small part of me wanted to call it quits, but we had already put up with so much shit I was determined to see Nickelback, even if I had to swim the river. Which would have ended in me drowning. So, glad I didn’t have to do that! Then as we were walking a 188-bus stopped and picked us up. It was like an angel. Never had I been so happy to see a bus. And this one did take us all the way to the arena. Got there about 8pm in the end. A huge wave of relief hit us as we stopped outside North Greenwich station.

The rest of the evening? Amazing. Nickelback smashed it. And standing was so cool. We just chilled at the back and basked in the atmosphere. Singing at the top of our voices. In the end, all the bullshit travel was so worth it.

There you go, an eventful week for me. How was yours? 😀

Catch you all next week!

Kev

 

 

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