lördag 21 maj 2011

London 2011: spring, sunlight, ambulating chinese medicine diagnostics

There´s a woman with a huge afro on the bus. She sits reading, and then sometimes starts talking to herself. Probably a bluetooth cell, I think to myself. But as she leaves, I see that her ears are empty.

In the mornings, the homeless stand in central London selling Big Issue. I buy them coffee, sometimes, and one I have to remember to buy hot chocolate if I do it again.

Sun is here now, warmth and joy from a long winter. The city and all its strange surfaces are lit by light, sometimes sharp, sometimes fading, sometimes in slits of cut light that falls through trees and rooftops in the afternoon as the crowds fade into evening. So many surfaces here, so uncountably many, of all kinds and all sizes. From the most rugged old stone that Shakespeare once walked on on his way to a play, to plastic, glass, metal, grained brick and old Victorian red brick with flutings inside it. Some sidewalks are paved with many different kind of paving stone, and the light plays on them all to make a symphony of the city before it starts playing beautiful solos on the cheekbones and hair of women walking by.

Crowds mingle and whirle in the pool that is Leicester Square and Piccadilly. Under the neon lights groups of tourists drift aimlessly, tired after yet another show, yet another place; in Chinatown the scent of food drifts through crowds that walk under chinese characters and past Chinese residents of these few blocks that are so much in height, in depth, than the rest of London. Nearby, Soho draws crowds for another trade, and for clubs, pubs and parties in nights longer than all the days of your humdrum working life ever were.

I buy good coffee, stroll, buy books; sit on buses, drift through crowds. Go through Chinese medical principles, apply them on my surroundings; do instant diagnosis on bystanders, on pedestrians, on two cops while sitting on a double-decker bus and looking down on them from above.

On Trafalgar Square, Nelson´s statue still stands on the tallest pigeon-nest in the world, while a digital clock ticks and tocks down the minutes, hours and days until the Olympics arrive in London in 2012.

Sunlight. Green trees in Berkley Square, red buses filling streets with black cabs like little friends running next to them; voices on the bus, laughter, someone saying ”And it was really great sex” to their friend just as they walk past me; the old hippies in Camden and the man walking past with blue tattoos in his face, and long dreadlocks, looking like a misplaced Scottish traveller who walked into the maze of London and never got out.

Sunlight here. Warmth pooling in the alleways and streets of the city, making everything ready: summer is coming to town.