(I’ve been listening to a lot of wordy podcasts/Desert Island Discs this evening so instead of improvising, so to speak, I’ve typed up one of my journals entries from earlier in the month where I walked around a bit and had thoughts about life stuff.) So eloquent, Tara! So verbose!
2nd Feb 2015-
It is odd coming to a city you don’t reside in so so frequently just to walk around desperately trying not to use your Oyster card.
Eventually, the novelty of aimlessly wandering around the streets of the capital wears off (usually, prematurely – you’re only in Euston) so you end up getting on a bus to anywhere, lest the unfortunate situation of having to realise you’ve been walking for 8 miles heading into a north-west suburb because you were following someone in a leopard print coat. (Happened.)
There is a weird joy I get from padding around the pavements of London, having no idea of where I am or why I’m bothering. I consider it a kind of weird, me-time. Some people treat themselves to a manicure, I spent £20 on a slow commute up to London just for something to do. (I also frequently get my nails done. I’m worth it. I am so poor.)
It’s quite a rare thing to be walking somewhere with no real intention or purpose, able to walk that bit faster as you’re not using breath to talk or laugh with someone. My only rule is no iPods. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to soundtrack your days pretending you’re in a film of your own sad, twee life (hopefully directed by Hal Ashby), but you seriously miss out on the most GOLDEN conversations if walking with earplugs.
Example A: (heard when walking through a strangely serene Southwark yesterday evening)
Girl to 2 other friends:
(very persuasive, trying to make a point) “I mean, yes, it’s unconventional- I suppose. (Mimics a posh accent)- So… how did you meet your boyfriend? – Well, he sent me a dick pic and we just took it from there, really!” (Cue friends in hysterics.)
I don’t feel lonely as much I think I ought to during these solo visits- which is either a really good thing to be able to do or really introverted and weird, depending on how you look at these things.
Enough about me, anyway. I’m sitting in an empty Pret-style health food place, the emptiness odd due to it’s super central location, (hey, guys, it’s not a Starbucks but they still serve coffee! And pay tax!) Whatever, it had available plug sockets.
There is a man stocking up the fridges on his own, whistling to every song on this Samba Mix CD (remember- no iPods, comrades.) Oh! to be him! I wish I knew these songs so I could whistle along with him. Maybe, I’ll sit here for seven hours (I have a bit of time to spare), nonchalantly staring at the crease of this book- pretending to read, learning all the melodies and trills totally unbeknown to him.
He’s probably thinking about his girlfriend, or if he’s single, his brother’s girlfriend- and will presume I’m just some hipster reading a book. But alas! How wrong he shall be! I will come back tomorrow, stare him in the eye, sitting at exactly the same table, whistling every song back to him.
Maybe I’ll record some of it now on my phone to get some extra practice in on the ride home.