London is the Best

I love London. Here you can buy anything, eat anything, see everything and when it is sunny there is nowhere better. This morning on the way to the high street coffee shop I was stopped by a man wearing a tuxedo and a bowler hat, all slightly worn and dirty, who asked directions to some random place. I think that I caught a whiff of something stronger than coffee but he was jolly and polite and even though I could not help him he wished me a good day. And unlike in other cities where I have been approached he did not try to take my handbag, phone or anything else. I don’t think that he sleeps in a bed and it made me remember an occasion not long ago when I spent a night in a rainy Valencia unable to get a hotel, taxi or shelter. I eventually joined the other homeless in the train station, all of us shivering with cold. It was a humbling experience and taught me about how sometimes people end up in situations which they did not plan or desire. Confidence to find a way out of such a state is difficult when you can’t even find a place to have a wee without paying for it. I did have money but I still couldn’t escape this situation. When the dawn broke and the trains started running I was able to escape to my home and to comfort once again. I have never forgotten the helplessness of being homeless, even if it was only for a night. So I do smile at the people who live on our streets and try to recognize them as people with a past and feelings. When I walk around this beautiful city with all of its good things I also try to look at the bad to remind me of how lucky I am.

1 Comment

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One response to “London is the Best

  1. Where else were you when someone tried to mug you when they asked for directions? That’s never happened to me. But then again, I live in Australia, and most of us are honest from what I’ve seen of the country (like that jolly man).

    And the homeless. That must be quite a difficult situation to be in, and something that I could only imagine. But the end was touching, when you got home and smiled down at the homeless. 🙂

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