06 October 2007

London From A #27 Bus



Learned London from the upper 
deck of a #27 bus that day, eyes 
squeezed tight; cruising Portobello 
Road crammed with cars and a feral 
shopping throng loosely afoot on a 
grey Saturday - with inches to spare, 
eyes widening where the Somali driver 
guided us, his hands speaking volubly, 
daring vivid insults to careless drivers 
who encroached his space. It was a
breathtaking ride through narrow
streets barely wide enough for two
lanes less a row of tendentiously
parked cars.

And in the race to Camden
Town to meet Tara McH I began 

to understand Parisiennes – their
automobiles bear scars of honour
earned in le hors de combat, at
their random round-abouts and
the eternal joust for lanes, bumps
and bruises claimed in a rite of
passionate passage whilst here
the dour British avoid ‘le crash’
with adroitness just short of anal
– a sang froid less panache that
only the French would appreciate.
© 25 September 2007, I. D. Carswell