Well no. The morning started with my quest to send Gemalto a postcard. I visited the Post Office on Farringdon Road and I immediately recognise the NFC card readers they have installed on the counters. Unfortunately for me and Gemalto, it appears that the postcards on display (and in fact every physical items sold in the store), can only be paid at the shop counter which is managed separately from the Post Office. This counter would only accept chip & pin, with a minimum of £5 spend. And the other Post Office in nearby Moorgate does not even sell postcards! Who would have thought sending a postcard in London would be so challenging? (In hindsight I was perhaps foolish for believing postcards would be widely available in none-touristy areas)
Irritated and hungry, I figured I could do with breakfast now, so I decided to pay my favourite coffee shops in Holborn a visit. The first was the delightfully name Department of Coffee & Social Affairs, part of the Coffeesmith chain of specialty coffee. Approaching as a 'researcher' again, I asked if they accept contactless. Despite the modern looking PDQ the barista was adamant they do not accept contactless payment.
I explained to Gwilym, who initially believed it to be something like "sticking your Oystercard to your phone", the benefits of having it on your phone rather than using a bog standard credit card in that it actually displays a confirmation screen on your phone. Gwilym thought that contactless payment technology is amazing, as traditional chip & pin is too slow for a coffee shop. As I have sip my coffee and compose a draft of this post, I wonder how many shops I have been who claimed they weren't able accept payment from my phone when they could!
Oh, and I finally managed to locate a Post Office which sells postcards!
|You can't see me but I was doing the happy bunny dance outside of this shot|
Also on my list to complete today was the 'Take the boat and travel in style on the River Thames' challenge. Despite successfully boarding the Thames Clipper at the Embankment Pier and alighting at the Bankside Pier, at both piers the ticketing booths were closed! There were no ticket sellers on board either! No doubt I will attempt again tomorrow and this time I will be boarding at a busier pier with an opened ticket booth, I promise!