Tales of the Urban Burbs #6
Welcome to a new stage - no longer a commuter, now a Burb Dweller, I get to enjoy only the Social Commute.
One problem. Why can't I read a train timetable? Somehow the fact that my local train line runs from London Bridge through Penge, Croydon and then back up to Victoria throws my sense of direction off totally. That's a train from London to London, fact fans. Blew a few of my synapses.
Anyway, going back into the city centre really brings home to you the age barriers of the city. I mean the disparity between the twentysomethingness of Soho and the creakysomethingness of the Urban Burbs. Hell, I don't look even a little bit old out here ... and a fortnight away from the city gates and London is suddenly transformed into somewhere with that weird film set feel (much like NYC when you spot a steaming subway vent, and have to check round for possible sightings of Dick Tracy).
London Bridge station, though, emphatically is not a place for tourists. It's a local station, for Commuter People.
A map, ma'am? I couldn't possibly. Advice on what line is quickest, ma'am? I'm very much afraid that I couldn't tell you. Directions, ma'am? Oh dear, no. I'm sure I couldn't help you, ma'am. Allow me to ask my LUL colleagues. (These would be the LUL fuckwits who later advised me that Charing Cross is definitely on the Jubilee line...)
Waiting for a tube. Then the next tube. Then the next. The next. And the next.
It dawns on me that it's not actually going to get less crowded in here, and I'd better board one of the things. This actually isn't crowded by London standards. Just give in, and shove.
Still my new touristical status means I get to be far more brash and intrusive with my camera, and never have to worry about sporting the appropriate social class identifiers. And the people. Colourful. Pretty.
I can't stop staring.
Is my mouth hanging open?