Saturday, 1 January 2011

Cold Feet

"When in doubt, don't" - Benjamin Franklin

I'm due to leave the country for Singapore in 2 days or 42 hours 31 to be precise and up until today I've been dreading going. I think it's because I've never been so far from family before. That I am so affected by this truth is a sad state of affairs, I know. But Singapore isn't a Virgin Pendolino train away from London- not yet anyway - but I'll be sure to pass on my ideas to Sir Richard.

The other day I went to see my family in West London. I have a big family with many young cousins, I had to see all their chipmunk faces before I left. On my way there I had the pleasure of hearing a couple's conversation about London transport (they were talking loudly, I was not actually concerned with what they had to say). It was the same conversation that must be carved into the walls of the tunnels from decades gone by:

Girl: "Why are people never happy on the underground?"
Boy: "Let's count how many happy faces we see..."
(fifty paces and a total count of zero later)
Girl: "I reckon only couples would be happy on the underground."

Now I didn't turn around to confirm whether these two had happiness plastered across their faces too - it seemed to be a sly opportunity for the girl to let her boyfriend know she was happy because she was with him or something. One of those attempts to say 'I love you' without actually saying it.

But whilst Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts followed my every step towards the CENTRAL line platform at the Bank tube station I had this strong urge to turn around and defend why we Londoners do not feel the need to smile continuously at the prospect of 1) being squeezed up to the armpit or chest of another fellow Londoner and 2) a spontaneous strike or signal failure. And then it dawned on me - I'd much rather stay here. I love London. I don't know why I would ever choose to leave even with all its faults. And that's why I haven't got excited about leaving yet.

I guess I need to just MAN UP and deal with everything. I'm off to make a start on my essay plans and pack my hand luggage  - what effort.

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