In search of inspiration, coming up for air, call it what you will, I took the tube into London this evening and so “Nelly (that’s me) the elephant packed his trunk and said goodbye to the circus, and off he went trumpty, trump on the road to Mandalay” …. well, Leicester Square actually and on the way the train moaned, wheezed, and groaned, wheezed and puffed and panted its way into Acton Town. The girl beside me, an Indian Muslim of the pukkah class, screamed into one mobile phone, while her other mobile phone was intermittently blaring out some music, and there she was screeching in some South Asian tongue that was interpolated with the occasional RP sentence. One of the things that I found difficult living in China was it is too Chinese. Well, what I mean is that even in Shanghai, the country’s most cosmopolitan city, 99.5% of the faces are Chinese and London? Well, I am not trying to be funny but of the ten faces in this little section of the tube two were European and that is including my own. Still, variety is the spice of life and better a screaming, screeching Indian girl of the pukkah class than some screaming, screeching white trash but am I beginning the miss the “re nao” of “Zhonghua” that I was so quick to condemn only a few weeks ago?
Getting off at Leicester Square I did the round that I did last week; there was the wee Chinese restaurant at the corner of Soho’s Newport Square and Newport Close, sort of where Chinatown, begins, and the best “jiao zi” that I have tasted ever and I have tasted lots of “jiao zi” in China, and then it was off to the Bar Italia and the best cup of cappuccino that you will get outside or inside Italy and then of I went trumpty trump to Foyles and the “biggest bookstore in the world”, a perusal of the books and trumpty trump back home and spluttering, a stopping, and a starting and a wheeze wheeze and the train rolled into Acton Town and on.
Arriving in Uxbridge …. well, the British playing continental down in Soho, Chelsea, Hampstead, Knightsbridge etc is sort of alright but in Uxbridge on a Friday night it doesn’t quite succeed, but there they are, sitting outside supping their pints, with the police patrolling the street and the wee girls, some with beer bellies, some without, but all of them showing a lot of flesh, singing their songs as they stroll arm and arm up to the nightclub, bouncers on the door, nice if you know one, don’t look aggressive and good if you can flash a bit of flesh. If England was as England seems …………………
The read back on the tube was the ‘Evening Standard’ and Peaches Geldorf is in trouble with her dad for going to LA and marrying a rock star. Weren’t we all young once Bob? Then there was the wee go at Ken Livingstone for going to Beijing on a binge at the Chinese government’s expense and a report on George Bush warning Russia to stop bullying Georgia and lots more drivel. Now, as I said before, variety is, indeed, the spice of life and if I only had brain washing, mind numbing, tory trash like this to read,1 ….. whatever, there is an all pervading thoughtless, mindless, moron “blighty” that fails to realise that spin and bluff and supports a country that lives on its wits and cons the planet, while invariably adopting the moral high ground and you would have to take your hat off to them because they have been doing it for a long time and they are still getting away with it but wouldn’t it be nice if they actually rolled their shirt sleeves up, put on their thinking caps, stopped kidding themselves and the unfortunates elsewhere, who don’t have the tools to know that they are being taken to the cleaners?
1 ‘Evening Standard’, Friday 15 August, 2008
The picture above is of the little Chinese restaurant in Soho that serves the best “jiao zi” in the world.