Monday, 13 October 2014

London: Making light of irksome sights

A small centre
London still remains a place of new discovery for me in many ways just as I never knew that I did not need to change at Leicester Square for Charing Cross to get to Trafalgar Square almost 25 years ago, or that if I got off at Liverpool Street, I did not have change trains to get to my office between Liverpool Street and Moorgate.
I have taken to walking as much as I can within London having realise that the London Underground, known as the Tube sometimes makes central London feel a lot bigger than it really is.
For instance, London Euston Station to London Waterloo Station is just 2.1 miles or 3.36 kilometres, it is literally one straight road down and over the Thames – give it about 50 minutes of a brisk walk. It is better to do this than get on the Tube.
The bastards of Westminster
Then, I have walked from London Euston Station, through Old Street to Liverpool Street and then London Bridge before walking the south embankment of the Thames called the Queen’s Walk all the way to Vauxhall.
As I pass Westminster Bridge, I see the mother of parliaments, the Palace of Westminster and lament the whoring that has given her bastards for children.
The many politicians who have never had a life outside politics, rent seekers who are leveranciers of the poverty they portend as policy. Looking upon them from the tower is Big Ben that I pray when next she tolls at the point we are asked to find new leaders would toll for this lot.
Dressed to ostracise
Yet, London presents fascination from mundane observation, like walking into a T. M. Levin shop full of seemingly formal wear to find that the shop attendant does not know what a cravat is. I could not muster the strength to be aghast, I was beyond that. What training do these label readers and payment till get to man these shops? Perish that thought.
Further along the road was a family out for the day, the man proudly strutting along with his wife and two children. Well, I am not sure of the kind of pride in a man that would have his wife all covered up except for the slit in the garb made for her eyes to peer through.
If the lady were walking alone, maybe it might ward off interest, but with her husband and family, it is more about the man than the woman. The concept of dressing to cultural and religiously defined codes in a very secular society does sometimes make one wonder about societal cohesion and integration – this applies to all, by it Muslims, Jews or even Sikhs – these being the ones that come easily to mind about men, women and their dress sense.
I paid for better than this
Off clubbing we paid to use the coat check and were given numbered tickets to identify our things. At the end of our revelling, we presented our tickets and told them the initials as a security safeguard against them giving our bags to others.
Unusually, we were ask what our bags or jackets looked like and 10 minutes on they were still looking for my bag just as the mess in the coat check storage had become too chaotic for words, it was disheartening and annoying in the same measure.
I remonstrated and I was asked to calm down at which point I smacked the counter with an open palm loudly stating I paid for the service beyond which it was just unacceptable to have to wait this long to find my things.
The supervisor then came forward to take control of the situation, but it was not before one of the team took exception and offence to my attitude. I was having none of it, we celebrate incompetence to the point of excusing atrocious customer service, even apologising for poor customer service that we have paid for, not if I could help it.
Eventually, after a third time of describing my rucksack, they found it, I was not effusive with thanks, I was infuriated. Am I supposed to demand for the service I paid for or allow people act without responsibility for the jobs they have been hired for? I think I am just getting too old-fashioned for the lack of attention to order or detail, but I would not tolerate it.

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