Monday, 9 February 2009

BioBlog travel log - 13/01/09

7:10 pm
There's something that's becoming painfully apparent in this city. Nobody looks particularly happy about anything. It's as if the entire outside world exists entirely as a means of getting from point A to B and that this should be done with a minimum of human contact and with no regard paid to your surroundings. I've never seen a town or city so devoid of people actually talking to each other. Sure, there's guys in business suits talking all over the place, but that always looks more like work. There's no concept of a leisurely stroll and a bit of a talk over a cup of tea or anything.
It's not like we're short of tea here, either. Beverages at least. Most places you can navigate by pubs, but here you could navigate by Starbucks. Now I do like Starbucks a LOT, I've been having lunch there all week while I have half an hour of sudoku, but nobody needs that much coffee, surely. It's like fish and chip shops back home that set up 5 minutes apart yet somehow manage to stay in business.
But yeah, thousands of people wander past me every day, none of them looking especially pleased. It's sad, I guess, especially since the architecture around here is really rather impressive. Certainly not pretty unless you've an eye for that kind of thing, but I'm still staring at the skyline constantly as I wander around. I know I'm never going to get over all this. It's like a part of my mind has donned a waxed moustache and started screaming "Homes touching the heavens! And horseless carriages careening through the public! The devil take this addled place from my sight!"
It's really reinforcing my thoughts that nobody here has time for anything. Not for people, not for just having a lay about of a Sunday afternoon, not even for a pot of tea. Everyone just walks around with cardboard cups.
I think the thing that really clinched it was an article I was reading in some financial paper today. You can say that about London, there is NO shortage of reading material, I'm picking up two free newspapers per day and I'm entitled to £5 worth from the hotel. But yeah, something about how the people in the city are experiencing record levels of STDs and generally sleeping around wherever the hell they like to relieve the stress. I dunno, if that ever happened to me... y'know, I'm not sure it could, but if it did I'd be going back up north like a greyhound with it's rear end on fire.
Tomorrow will bring one last jaunt to the city streets in search of entertainment with my charming tour guide. I hope to find something interesting to photograph, because I've been indulging in my old hobby of taking photos that are sort of amusing out of context. It's a good hobby, I think, and writing the captions is fun, but it always leads to my dad asking why I took photos of street signs.
Well, I guess we all see beauty differently. Some people get it from sunsets, some from glamour models, I get it from the inherent madness in humanity, attitudes to living and from heavily industrialised areas. I quite miss pottering around the abandoned production buildings back at Brown's.
Each to their own, aye?

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