Another mad week
Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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The tube, beholder of all things interesting, saw me witness a crime this week. Humble little old (I'm not 30 yet!) me wandered through the underground passages that morning thinking that it would be criminal if someone had inadvertently crushed the pappodums I was carrying into work to accompany my leftover curry lunch. But that night on my way home, a different sort of criminal was roaming the tube. In what could have been an elaborate plot, a man's mobile phone was snatched from his hand and stolen by a deaf criminal. The plot unfolded as follows:
Suspects A, B and C board the train.
Suspect A sits next to Passenger H (me).
Suspects B and C sit opposite Passenger H.
Suspects A and B have a conversation across the aisle in what appears to be sign language.
Passenger H, having already eyed the three suspects up and down in her general observant manner, continues reading the paper.
Passenger V (V for Victim) sits on the other side of Passenger H, playing with his phone.
Train approaches platform at Notting Hill Gate.
Suspects A and C move to stand by the door as if ready to alight the train.
At the last minute, Suspect B stands, snatches the phone from Passenger V's hands and runs off the train.
Passenger V is gutted that his new phone is gone and spends the rest of the journey shaking his head in disbelief.
I got to thinking how clever these little twerps were and wondering whether or not they were actually deaf. Generally speaking, the public will mind their business and not give an overly obvious amount of attention to the disabled, unless of course it's a matter of offering them a seat or helping them up or down stairs. Generally speaking, we give the disabled the benefit of the doubt, thinking (without being belittling) "Poor little deaf guy. Bet he's a good citizen." And this is where I got to casting doubt and thought that maybe the "sign language" was a ploy to make sure people wouldn't pay attention to these crims. Maybe they thought they could fly under the radar and not be noticed, therefore being able to pull off such a sly act. It also got me thinking about how lazy we have become with our personal safety. It's so easy for people to reach into a handbag and take whatever they want. The number of people you see on the trains and buses, even cafes and restaurants, with their bags wide open, contents for all to see, is amazing. Just getting on the bus after the phone stealing incident I counted 7 people all sitting playing with their phones, and not one of them looked up once to see who was sitting beside them or around them. They're like walking billboards, advertising to the world what sort of phone they have, how much cash they have in their wallet, what sort of camera they're carrying. Maybe I'm over-vigilant. But I'm always aware of my surroundings and always keeping an eye on what's going on around me to avoid having things nicked. And I think more people should do the same.
For the record, the pappodums made it in tact to my desk. And no, Leticia wasn't any of the Suspects.
Floods inundated Queensland after heavy and consistent rainfall. It all started a week or so ago when I was in New York and had no idea what was happening until I returned to London to read it in the news. Toowoomba had severe flash flooding and surrounding areas were evacuated, suffering massive damage and heartache for its residents who lost everything. Brisbane went under as well, as the rivers and creeks couldn't copy with the strain of the inundation. Norton Rose in Brisbane was closed for a few days, as were many other businesses in the CBD, and saw fish in the underground carparks and fundraising efforts made by many around the world. Deaths, missing people and countless stories of tragedy emerged as the water took its toll, some really heroic tales, and some really sad stories. It was pretty mad, and all of the news websites around the world featured it. Thoughts go out to the Queenslanders affected by the deluge. Later in the week, parts of Victoria went under water, as did an area of Brazil which suffered freak torrential rain and landslides which saw more than 400 people killed. I considered getting to work building an ark, just in case the flooding continued and made its way to my part of the globe.
Despite having just returned from a trip to New York, I decided I needed a holiday. I got to researching and making lists of places I'd like to visit this year, and putting together a brief itinerary of how 2011 is going to work out travel-wise. Instead of sightseeing and going to places that require a lot of movement and physical activity, I've decided that I need more holidays and to go to destinations where I can just sit back and relax, and not feel guilty about not having seen the major tourist sights if I don't feel bothered to see them. I put 2011 on the backburner for the latter half of 2010. So now that the clock has ticked over, it's time to get the ball rolling and make some plans! First stop, a cider house/farm/B&B in New Forest with Philo in February. Bring it.
I read an interesting sentence in this week's Grazia magazine. There are only ever a couple of interesting sentences in those magazines as opposed to interesting articles as a whole. It was in reference to Facebook and the number of "friends" most of us have. The sentence more or less posed the question: how many of your Facebook friends would drop everything at a moment's notice to help you in times of need? The answer is probably not many. It's time to reconnect with real friends. The ones that would be there for us, and are there for us. I do cull my Facebook "friends" from time to time - anyone reading this has been lucky enough so far to escape the cut. Either that or I just haven't gotten around to deleting you yet. Being overseas and so far away from the people I would normally have day to day contact with has been an interesting experience though. It has made me realise who are my acquaintances, who are my friends, who are the people that will come in and out of my life at various times, and those who will be in it forever. Friendships change, they evolve. And sometimes it's surprising to realise that the ones you thought were friends for life actually aren't that committed to the cause. And so you lose contact. Sometimes it's frustrating and you feel like saying "dude, is it really that hard to reply to an email?". But then you have to sit back and think about what role they play in your life, and whether it is actually going to make a dramatic difference to you if you don't hear from them. We can place a lot of emphasis on relationships that are going nowhere, and not enough on those that are valuable. I think we all need to have a think about our friends every now and then, and refresh our memories as to why they are important to us. Deep.
Question: Should I take it personally when the automatic airfreshener in the work bathroom sprays whenever I walk into the room, or should I deduce that it's just a random occurrence that I always happen to notice? And also, as happened at Christmas, should I take it personally when I constantly receive beauty and body products as gifts? I started to get a bit paranoid in the end, wondering if people were using Christmas as an opportunity to let me know that I stink. I'm assured that I don't stink. Maybe, and quite feasibly, as a result of being sprayed by the air freshener in the toilets, people came to think that I had some hideous perfume on that smelt like Ambi Pur, and were giving me subtle hints that it's not a socially acceptable odour to wear on one's body. In any case, it's not possible that I would smell anymore given that my bathroom is full of new smelly shower gels and exfoliants.
There's no easy way to say this. I fell off the bus on Saturday night. It happened before I knew it. I'm not sure how it happened, because I wasn't even drunk. I was scooped up quickly and ushered away from the site of embarrassment after dipping my new shoes into the muddy gutter and breaking them. Gotta love it when that happens.
My weekly whinge
Sorry. I think this word is overused in modern society. Usually sorry is used as an expression of genuine apology. Sorry, or sowee as some English irritatingly say, has become such a commonly used word and I think its application should be revisited. For example. A girl deliberately pushes past me but says "sorry". No she's not. She's not sorry at all. She had made up her mind that she was going to push past me and predicted that I would be annoyed, and so before bumping me, said sorry. I think the words she should be saying are "excuse me, could you kindly allow me to get past you". "No worries," I would say, as opposed to saying "no you're f*cking not" to her "sorry". In my opinion, don't say sorry unless you have something to be sorry about.