Monsieur and I visited Borough Market on Saturday. Borough Market was great fun; getting there was a little fraught. On the tube we were sat opposite a case of Arrested Development (and I’m not talking about the band). He was dressed in jeans and a lot of red – red sweatshirt bearing some hip insignia I should recognise but don’t, red baseball cap, red and white trainers and a lot of Big Gold Chain. His friend was a super-geek, sat next to me. Cool Guy + Geek Friend who makes Cool Guy look cooler. Too sad. Especially as Cool Guy must have been pushing forty.
Next to Cool Guy was Young Guy, sat with his sister. Young Guy listens to MP3 player; Sister plays with brain trainer game. All was peaceful until Cool Guy says to Young Guy “That your sist-ah?” Young Guy replies “Yes.” Cool Guy proceeds to leer at that poor young girl, who shyly keeps her eyes glued on the game. It was gross. Eventually, Young Guy turns and addresses Cool Guy: “Please would you stop looking at my sister? It’s making her uncomfortable.” He couldn’t have been less confrontational. Cool Guy was not impressed. “I’ll look at whoever I goddamn please.” he said, shaking his head from side to side like a dog with a bone. Young Guy tries again. “With respeck, I’m askin’ you nicely. Please stop looking at my sister.” Cool Guy continues to leer. No one’s telling that dude what to do. No way, no how. Cool Guy starts to turn the red of his baseball cap. He’s angry. Young Guy stays impressively calm. Sister’s face is now almost glued to the game. Just as we were getting ready to get off the tube, Cool Guy pulled a knife halfway out of his jeans pocket. I didn’t see what happened next; nor did I want to. I just prayed that Young Guy and his sister would reach their destination in one piece.
So this is what London life has been reduced to. Everyone’s concerned about not being able to drink on the tube, but some young kid and his sister can’t travel without harassment and the threat of a knife. What the hell happened? It didn’t used to be like this.