Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Streets of London

What's a retired copper to do while living in a local London neighborhood than to journey into the culture, into the daily life, into the daily workings of local Londoners. I walked the bus route I had previously travelled by bus to see what happens on the sidewalks in the neighborhood. We all know what is happening on the streets can be missed when just driving by; the dialogues, the interactions, the arguments and the everyday activity that make the streets come alive. I travelled in the light of day and in the darkness. The faces changed very little as darkness fell. And as it got deeper into the night (I went out about 10pm) more men could be counted than women. They stood outside the few businesses that were still opened; the pizza parlors and mini grocery stores smoking cigarettes and telling tales. Many languages were being spoken. Some I recognized, others I did not. They were not phased much by people's comings and goings as long as they kept moving. They give you a look and size you up. A quick once over as if to read "do you belong or are you an outsider?" The conversation stopped if you were preceived as an outsider. It continued on without a second thought if they saw you as another local daily commuter. As long as I was not talking I was seen as the latter. I blended in with the London culture. Just another Londoner on their daily commute.

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