Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The white man jumped into the 38 bus through the back doors, saying very cheerfully to no-one in particular, 'good old Ken Livingstone. Giving Londoners free buses'. He then turned to stand in profile, and suddenly became quiet and gloomy.

Some of my friends have made an art of travelling all across London on these bendy buses where you don't have to show your ticket to the driver. There's enough of them to get you anywhere, albeit in winding routes. I'm usually too impatient, and also too worried to get caught. When I'm not in the mood to pay, like today, I stand next to the electronic-ticket-reader in case an inspector comes.

I'm reading the new Koetzee book in hard cover and it's hard holding it up while standing.

A man with an indian accent said: 'My grandfather was a great man. He died laughing'.

Free rides come with a price. The bus terminated its journey two stops after Angel, and long before my stop. It was sunny, and I decided to walk to college. The streets sprinkled with some unexplained English good nature and properness that almost made me feel I'm not in London. But then the red brick house, that beautiful 1930s gothic tower. I would so much like to live there. Or squat it for just one winter.

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