Did you ask that as anon or were you on the tumblr mobile website cos it came to me as an anon :/
YAY! I want to meet them, Julius & Claude makes them sound very smart & regal hah.
I saw you mention London a while back - why are you down in LANDAN? that wedge shaped building looks so thin & odd at that end :S
oh this has been sitting here for ages and i never saw it, sorry! yeah i was on the mobile site so that’s why. jules and claude arrived yesterday so it’s still a bit hissy and rawwrr at chez bobben. yeah london, stuart was going to a conference for work so i tagged on (not for the conference though, yawn) and acted like i wasn’t like a tourist even though i was; that’s how cool i am
i like cities. i never used to like them, but now i do. some people find cities claustrophobic, with the tallness and the heat and the people invading their mental personal space, but i don’t. i find them comforting, hugging you to be a part of the whole experience because there is no space to be lost. spending time in london - the second largest city i have visited - alone is like being a silent friend to the people, the objects, the buildings. everything feels like it knows you inside out. i think this comes across now especially that i have a basic knowledge of the place. the way you know which hand to have the ticket in, and which way around the ticket is, that’s important. knowing you can put the ticket in even when the gates are still open from the last faceless acquaintence to pass through, that’s equally as important. sometimes being in a large city feels like a challenge to look as un-touristy as possible. having directions on your phone hides being unsure of where to go; and if you get lost you keep on walking, just heading the way you always intended to go. taking photographs is an art project now; focusing on more abstract subjects helps with this. in this arrogant pretence you can take back the familiarity you lost when getting off a plane. from here on everything is encouraging. the underground is humid lika a sauna, imagine a tropical paradise. standing next to people in those tight packed carriages searching for a colourful pole to embrace, it’s like a concert you’e been waiting a year for, chanel that good feeling. the air smells like warm, downy cotton, thick; think soft jumpers that smell of baby clothes.
an aisian woman in a bright yellow coat boards and sits one from opposite me. she faces the seat to my left which is taken by a man with a large camera. she stares ahead, he looks down and takes the camera. his foot balanced over the other knee, resting on the carriage wall. she stares at him, no smile, no recognition, clutching her bag closer. he raises the camera to her face which remains constant. noiseless click and she looks to the side, then back to him. he takes another. she stares through him. when i get up for my stop she lunges to my seat to be beside him.
small blonde girl of about seven sits while her mother stands, encumbered by rain coats and suitcases for both. the girl looks around, she looks through the perspex at me, looks me up and down. i look back, briefly. she looks away, she looks back, she looks away. the mother tells her something. she nods dutifully. she puts her hand to her leg, a skirt with lines of matte gold sequins. she picks at them, grasps a few, pulls them up. they are tense. she lets go, flattens them down. she looks back to me, seems sad.
a woman on the way in on the last day is tiny. around four foot tall. she is a perfect miniature of a person. everything in proportion, smaller. perfect woman’s face, hair, smallness. crossed legs. nothing like a child. she talks a lot to a man opposite who doesn’t appear to know her. tells him how she doesn’t like earphones, and her colleagues don’t like eminem. he is vaguely listening. she anticipates the announcement, saying in her own squeaky voice, “this is a metropolitan line train for baker street”. the man looks at her. “that’s what it says!” - shrill. i consider that she talks a lot as a defence mechanism. now she has no reason to do so. the train pulls in and she gets up. she was taller sitting than standing. she is defiant, braced on the floor against movement. the man gets up too, but not at the same time. he doesn’t look at her. i don’t know if they were together or not.
on the way back to the station which will eventually take me home a woman walks up to the packed opening enquiring after the trains location. she boards beside me. her eyebrows are painted on, too long, too close together. thick marker lines and no hairs. later she asks me if the next stop is liverpool street, i tell her not the next, but the next. she nods. she seems so unsure, she doesn’t check the station names or maps that paper the carriage. we alight together, go our seperate ways. returning across the main station in opposite directions five minutes later i smile in recognition at her. regardless of how physically alone you are, in the city there is always interaction.
i had pancakes at my old dutch pancake house. i wasn’t sure to go in, it was empty, but i did. i wanted pancakes. it was on my itinerary, this is how my mind works. i am seated, at a two seat table, alone, facing out from the wall. i order. it’s uncomfortable, i’m outnumbered by waitresses, six to one. they perform tasks, they keep an eye on me. the pancake takes only minutes. it comes and it is enormous. it feels odd again. sitting with a giant plate, giant pancake, nothing to say, no-one to look at. then another woman enters, young, aisian. she takes a table like me, back to the wall. it feels better. then another woman, old, greying, same kind of table. in a line, it feels ordered, soviet. finally another woman, alone again. i wonder if i sparked off some kind of feminist penchant for single pancakes. the beauty of this city is that you will never be alone for very long.