London is only about 70 miles from where I live, yet I probably only go there about half a dozen times a year at the most (and then it’s mainly for the shopping). I do feel a bit like a country bumpkin in the big, bad city when I do go (which in effect, I am). This was only too evident when I wandered into what I thought was a rather groovy looking bar near my hotel only to find it was a drugs safe-house for the more discerning drug users to shoot up in comfort and safety. I did double-check that it wasn’t a Starbucks diversifying even furhet into offering sharps-bins and AIDS tests with the cappuccinos but apparently not – not yet anyway.
I was in London on a ‘jolly’ from work (otherwise known as a training course), which inconveniently ate into valuable shopping time, but there was good espresso freely available at all times so I was actually able to stay awake and learn a few things. When I did get out and about I was convinced that my winning smile was gaining me friends until I noticed the clipboards that were whipped out after the initial questions…
“Are you a visitor to London?” (Oh no, had i left the straw in my hair or the carrot behind my ear?)
“How many nights are you staying for?” (Wow, Londoners are friendly, I wonder where he wants to take me?)
“That’s great” (whips out clipboard) “On behalf of London Tourism, enjoy your stay.” (Oh right, clipboard, got ya, so I’ll make my own plans for later then!)