Saturday was a rainy day. I was returning home on the overground. A lot of people left the train at shoreditch. A number of seats opposite me were suddenly vacant. A pretty girl, plainly dressed sat down in front of me, her black hair wet from the rain. She sat there self consciously, her hands fidgeting. A handsome lad was seated next to her, absorbed in his phone. She took hers out too. And then breaking from protocol, she asked the boy sitting next to her for help with something on her phone. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world. He replied helpfully and solved her problem. She thanked him with a nervous laugh. And then they both didn’t know what more to say so tried to go back to their lives. Except that they both sat there blushing stupidly instead of diving into their phones.
I realise I have been ignoring my blog and feel quite guilty about it because I feel the need to document things. I feel life goes by at such a hectic pace that when we look back (atleast when I do) I can only think back to the most recent events. So this post is just going to be a series of unrelated things.
Like more beauty on the overground – a heaving doggie, a lovely cream-coloured bulldog wearing a pink collar and a light green leash, pulling the girl holding it rapidly through the train. She sat about with an inquiring look, sniffing the air and looking into the faces of other passengers. Breaking from all London tube etiquette, our little lady trudged up to people looking for love and pats, which many very happily gave her, perhaps happy to deviate (if only for a few moments) from the stifling protocol.
What is it with people in this city? Why are smiles so rare? And even rarer in smaller, more intimate spaces. During my weekend class yesterday, I asked a fellow student something and she almost looked shocked to have been addressed. Her answer was clipped. Walking into class, after a break, I caught someone’s eye. I smiled. He hastily looked down into his phone. Why are people so afraid? What are they so afraid of? That I might make conversation? The whole atmosphere is cold, no one talks to anyone else. People are busy with their gadgets. It makes me so sad. You actually need to have a good reason to talk to someone, a friendly hello doesn’t cut it anymore.
I preferred to eat my lunch outdoors yesterday as it was slightly warmer than it has been recently. A couple of pigeons were bobbing about, dodging humans, looking for some morsels to eat. I gave them some of my lunch. So nice to look at the world going by. I have to learn to eat outdoors more and less at my desk.
I recently went for my first opera ever, Puccini’s La Boheme. Honestly I was quite down and lonely that day and tried desperately to palm off my ticket to one of my colleagues but seemingly it was a big day for football and no one was interested in a single ticket. I went reluctantly, and was seated in the balcony in an aisle seat. It was magical, I had goosebumps listening to the beautiful voices. I sobbed unreservedly (though the usher was standing near me and I was pretty much under one of those dim lights that is one of the only ones left one in the whole place).