Funny · Overheard · Travel

Curse! Curse! You walked on Winston Churchill! YOU!

Old black woman in the bus at 9 PM, with something more exotic, darker and dirtier than terrets syndrome. Something oozing, something evil, something that made her speak in a growling dark voice that seemed to come from the cavernous depths of a tortured soul.

It was fascinating to hear such incredibly dirty language coming from a woman that looked like a grandmother, and was staring at a five pound bill through huge pink bottle-bottom glasses. She had a church-going hat, purple with paper flowers on it, and was holding the bill anxiously close to her face and crushing it between her tense hands as the curses grew darker and more hateful.

I wonder if that person that offended her so much really exists. I made up in my head that this woman is a voodoo priestess from Haiti and does house calls, but in order not to have her magic affected by the city while she’s heading to the appointment, curses so her worlds don’t call.

But she was so dark, so rumbling…rumbling through the back of the bus, her curses like refuse being hurled from a dark pit.

And this morning in the Tube, a typical London transit moment. A young man playing the guitar, and singing beautifully John Lennon’s “Imagine”. It was amazing to see everyone, so in a hurry…slow their step and close their eyes and hum the bars or mouth the words they knew, that song just slowed them for a brief instant, and they would rummage through their bag, caught singing, and pay up. But I think they were more grateful for the chance to have a positive song, full of hope, a nostalgic song, in the middle of the grey tube, and the escalators that don’t stop but don’t really go anywhere either.

Dad stopped. He gave money and gave me money too…and as I knelt to put it in and not throw it, the man bowed and whispered “cheers” in the middle of his song, which made me smile, and I was still smiling when the man in a hurry was running, RUNNING up the escalator at Bank and singing aloud with John Lennon, stopped in the middle of his running to smile widely at me and keep singing.


It’s so wonderful understanding the world around you. For such a busy expensive city, Londoners have time to smile and don’t make life miserable. And it doesn’t hurt to be in a place where people call you “darling” and “love”.

The fashion here is insanely annoying, people should just wear tee-shirts that say “Fashion=for those who can afford to conform”. Everyone has iPods, you can tell by the little white and grey earplugs, and everyone is wearing those silly-looking eskimo boots from LUGGS or UGGS or something, they all stuff their jeans inside. Everyone looks the same, and it’s an expensive price tag.

But other than the eskimo boots, the place is fascinating.


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