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08 Aug 2005: Castle In A Fallen Kingdom

A picture

Royal Victoria Dock

It is so disconcerting when someone talks on a mobile using an inconspicuous hands-free kit. There's no social cue at all to indicate that they are actually talking on the phone. Instead, they appear to be quite insane. You stand aside and let them pass, mumbling to their special, imaginary friends.

Mind you, there are more menacing experiences available to the city traveller than a special encounter with the hands-free. Aki and I boarded a tube train at Wapping a few months back and were delighted that one of the carriages was almost empty, seats galore. We did not even hesitate, not even for one second, to wonder why people were crowding onto the adjacent carriage. We soon understood.

The doors closed, imprisoning us in the carriage with one other person. Without barely waiting for the train to move, he began to scream to himself with all the energy that life had blessed him with.