So.. I got in trouble. Here I was in a foreign country for less than 24 hours, and I was getting yelled at for the second time. T_______T
I’m totally cool with admitting guilt when I’ve done something wrong, but I don’t think the fault lies with me tis time. I can’t think that anyone else in my position would have done differently!
Once you hear what happened, you can decide for yourself.
I would really love to hear your opinion, either way!
So, the story begins with me happening upon a little place in my wandering called the Kew Bridge Steam Museum…
Steampunk and the aesthetic of the steam era fascinate me, and I was really, really excited to have stumbled upon something this cool. It seemed like the museum was mostly inside of a building, with a bit of a free-park-type thing outside. You can’t tell that it was barely above freezing (maybe 7C/45F), but it was pretty cold, with a bit of a wind. Not that that would stop me!
(If you’re from Canada/Russia/somewhere else cold, stop laughing at me right now! I am from the desert! I’ll laugh at you when it’s 115 and you’re in reverse misery :3) But, yes.. the outside garden area was really, really pretty!
This is a bean from a real steam engine. That’s pretty impressive! And big! :O
The benches were all really pretty, too.
I’m guessing that this was either a rock garden, or a sundial. Does anybody know?
Here is another photo of the steam engine of absolute coolness.
The museum seems to house official cats, as well. I ran across the first one’s grave.
Rest in Peace, Boulton.
There was a bit of a garden there, where..
..where I ran into what I guess is the current museum cat. Maybe a relative of Boulton’s?
And… that’s where my adventure ended. Sort of.
You see, there wasn’t much more to see outside, so I headed indoors. Inside of the red brick building in front of the garden was a large gift shop, with a lady sitting behind a cash register.
It was a bit weird, because I wondered if there was even more to the museum at all. Tucked away at the back of the giftshop was an open door with a sign pointing inside that said, “Museum <——-”
Oh! So that’s where it was! It was open, there was no gate, no other notices or signs or anything, so in full view of anyone who cared to look, I went inside.
It was actually pretty neat! I had been through several rooms of neat machinery and displays of ancient products that used to be produced in those factories, and was taking plenty of pictures.
Then, a really grumpy-looking lady in her forties or so walked by me. She was walking really fast and entered a staff door on the wall on the right, but I only paid her a little bit of attention. A few minutes later, she came back, and made a beeline for me.
She grabbed my arm. She actually touched me, which shocked me and put me on my guard instantly. Remember that I was beaten up by my ex-boyfriend very violently and suddenly in the beginning of the year. Since then, I’ve been hyper-alert and really sensitive to touch. Plus, I hadn’t done anything to her.
I looked at her. I actually had a moment before she spoke that I wondered if I wasn’t supposed to be taking photos or something. If they photos are prohibited, usually there are signs, at least in Japan and the US, but there weren’t any. Not at the entrance, not in this room.
“Did you buy a ticket” she asked me. I love English accents, but not coming from her. Especially not after grabbing me like that.
“What?” I replied. I was genuinely confused. There had been no gate, no ticket information, no nothing! I’ve been in plenty of free museums, especially tiny ones similar to this one, before, so I had assumed (since there was NO gate or ticket info, and not even a staff member at the entrance) that of course it was free. Was I supposed to take the “Museum <—–” sign as a “DON’T ENTER UNLESS YOU HAVE A TICKET?”
I explained to her exactly what had happened, and she DIDN’T LET GO OF ME (rawr!!), and escorted me to the GIFT SHOP cash register, which was not even near the “entrance”. As we passed through the entrance, she stopped to pull a tiny metal bar across the “entrance.”
Seriously, I felt like such a criminal, I was about to cry! She was treating me like a criminal, but I don’t think that I did anything wrong! Luckily, the lady at the register was much, much nicer. She even smiled at me, which made me feel a bit better. I was still shaking, and I must have apologized a million times.
She pulled a little display (about the side of an 8×10 photo) in a clear holder out from behind the counter, which had ticket prices (￡17 for adults!!!!) on it. She said it was up to me if I wanted to buy a ticket, and actually apologized to me about not having closed the gate earlier.
I felt horrible, but I ended up not buying a ticket, because although the ticket was good for unlimited entrance for an entire year, it’s not like I would be back, and it seemed unreasonably expensive.
I also felt like throwing up.
That’s why even though, I took a bunch, there are no pictures of the inside of the museum here. I mean, I didn’t pay to get in, or even see the second half.
But, help me out here if you can. Do you think that I did something wrong? Especially wrong enough for the first employee to almost assault me? I mean… they at least need a sign, and I don’t mean one behind the counter at the cash register halfway across the gift shop from the actual museum entrance. Or at least someone should have closed the gate, so I would have had to ask..
I still feel really weird about it.