The Anonymous City

I enjoyed a rather good night out with work colleagues yesterday. We were drinking out a member of staff as he is off travelling before returning home to Australia. It was a jolly old time at a pub just down the road from work. A few of us decided to have a swift half in the pub next to the tube station before heading off home. The swift aspect obviously didn’t happen and I ended up missing the last southbound train. Not to worry, I though, the other half can come get me in the car. I duly called the other half who had also been boozing so driving was a no go. Bugger. To the buses it was!

I have never travelled home from north London before so I honestly had no idea what buses I needed to get. I did however remember that my usual night bus from central London basically tows the central tube line route so I grabbed a night bus for any station I knew was on the central line. The first bus to arrive was set to whisk me away to Holborn. That would of course been fine if I knew where or what Holborn station looked like. Luckily for me, I sat down next to a very rare breed of person on the bus, and it was someone who didn’t mind having a chat. So, I chatted to the positively charming Sam who very kindly told me when to get off the bus. It’s the first time in London that I have been on a bus or tube when another human being has actually acknowledged that I live, breathe and think just as much as they do.

Londoners are, for the most part, only concerned with their own business. No one smiles at one another and all sit with headphones in and/or books open. It’s easy to slip into this trend even if you don’t want to simply be another face on the tube with no voice. It’s strange that I feel I can’t be a person without interacting with someone else of my species. It’s an odd feeling to have when you’re surrounded by ordinary, probably quite intelligent, talented, funny people, but to never say a single syllable to them. As I said, it makes me feel un-human normally when I’m on public transport so to finally have some form of release from that invisible prison was wonderful. For this I would like to say thank you to the helper of the lost on the N91 bus from Caledonian Road, Sam.

I did eventually arrive home after a 2 hour confusion fest but all in all, it was a worthwhile night.