Thursday, 10 July 2014

Kings Cross post office


I met Fiona at King's Cross this afternoon for an all-too-brief cup of tea before returning to work again. I decided to take myself to the gym on the way home which had the unfortunate effect of placing me in the midst of King's Cross mayhem bang in the middle of rush hour. It's always at these times that the buses seem to come less regularly, despite there being six times more people wanting to get on board. The 390 bus was absolutely full to the rafters and the no fuss Nigerian female driver kept barking instructions at the passengers; "move down inside the bus, please!" "Mind the doors please!" I wanted to explain to her that using the word "please" doesn't always mean you're being polite! It's a bit like those signs you get outside pubs and in gyms that say "polite notice". I'll be the judge of whether I find the notice polite! Anyway, at one point, the driver put the bus breaks on so hard that all the standing passengers were sent flying. There were a few gasps and some stifled screams, "it's not my fault" screamed the driver, rather passionately.

I was rather enjoying the curious, rather stentorian quality of her voice, so as she ranted and raved about how this was the second time it had happened today and that the bus was faulty, I started to record her on my iPhone. She was obviously feeling rather guilty, because she immediately turned around and asked me what I was doing... A little more attention on driving the bus, my love, and a little less attention to whether your passengers are filming you in the act of nearly crashing! If the bus isn't safe to drive, you shouldn't be driving it. Now shush.

On our way to a gloriously empty cafe somewhere on the Caledonian Road, Fiona and I popped into the post office. And what a curious place the King's Cross post office is. It's like something from the Indian subcontinent, filled with independent stands, with no counter staff, selling make-up, made-in-china miniature red London buses, phone cards and unexpected food stuffs like whole shelves of pot noodles. At the back of the shop, a grotty little sign declares that, somewhere in the dark recesses, there's a "Internet Cafe." It was all rather filmic in there. As we arrived there seemed to be some altercation going on with a stoner and a number of staff members. The stoner kept threatening to "call the Feds." I'm not altogether sure what country he thought he was in, but the marihuana had obviously just kicked in...

It was fabulous to see Fiona and we had a good catch-up. She was waiting for the tour bus which was going to take her on the next leg of the Placebo world tour. We looked through her tour itinerary, which is apparently universally known as the "book of lies" because things change so quickly in that world, but it all sounds so profoundly glamorous!

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