Those who live their lives in institutions often find it difficult to adjust when suddenly confronted with the real world, as lived by the rest of us.
The former Foreign Secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, once said: "It is easy to identify a former minister. He is the chap who always gets in the back of the car, which never goes anywhere."
Peter Hain has not been spotted getting over-optimistically into the back of any cars recently, but, liberated from government, he has been struggling with the demands of public transport.
A former government adviser was slightly surprised to get a call the other day from a Neath MP struggling with the high-tech ticket system on the London Underground.
(Top tip - you touch in and touch out, rather than insert your ticket into the barrier).