torsdag 21 april 2011

Early morning, heading for class

It´s dark. The famous London sky hasn´t opened yet: it´s being helped from below by the light of many windows. I get up, get some clothes on in my coldish room then stumble down to make breakfast. An hour, that´s usually what I give myself before walking off, an hour.

Commuter train, low voices, silent figures standing on the platform, preserving energy. A flurry of Metros, London edition; the hand-written sign in the station updating what tube-lines are working and which are not, which are delayed, which have ”good service”. They are saying that before the olympics here 2012, there will not be a single weekend with all tube-lines running, due to repair-work.

Get in to a London station, changing trains, the final leg in to central London. Then a short walk to the bus with London waking up more and more around me. The commuters have a grim and narrow intent, heading for work; bicyclists zoom by, often dressed in high visibility clothes that would make a clown on LSD feel embarassed about this After Ski-blue kilt he wears with his sparkling sequined harlequin coat.

The homeless, straggling in lines sometimes, waiting for food, sometimes just the lonely figure carrying a big backpack filled with bad memories and heading for one of the homeless-centers in central London to get breakfast, some coffee, other people for another kind of warmth.

See central London wake up; Tottenham Court Road station, St Giles, Tottenham Court Road itself where an alien fleet deposited all their tech geeks to open up computer- and video-stores, but only here, only here, so you don´t make the humans suspicious. Londoners on the bus, everywhere, usually fairly quiet and polite, sometimes freaking out from the pressure of big city life; maybe living in a really bad flat, going to a pretty bad job all day only to go back to living in a really bad flat in one of the concrete estates that surround London like islands of penal colonies.

Getting off the bus, going for a coffee to bring with me. I carry it like a small grail along the almost empty back-streets. At the university, there´s also almost no people in this early, just lights, cleaning-staff, a handful of students, the receptionist who sits there like a quiet queen on the figure-head of a ship. I log in with my card and muzzily head for the right room to do some training before class, carrying coffee.