Once again we find a blog that starts with the infamous Joanie Brickell. Look at that little moosh.
Although she is a London girl down to her socks, she doesn't live here, sadly for us. She's currently causing trouble in a little place called Herne Bay down on the Kent coast. It's quaint. The size of my flat and you see the same people everywhere. It's nice, just nice, but nice. 20 odd years ago Grandad and her upped sticks and left glorious South London for sea air, the British Legion Club and a 20 foot garden. They never looked back. I still prefer Tulse Hill, but they were happy with their lot.
I went down to see her yesterday and for the first time in forever, I got the train. This meant Nan & I had a little day out on our own minus a vehicle...which never happens. The lack of car and need to get around on our own, also meant that the harsh realness of what happens when you leave London hit me like a bus.
Here's some examples;
- Buses actually arrive at exact times past the hour, and when you get on them you have to pay with actual cash money. And ask questions like "can I have a single to the Pier please?". Buses have never seen contactless payment cards and you actually get a paper ticket... and a smile. Head fuck.
- People speak to you at bus stops. And not as pre cursor to mugging you or chatting you up. Just to pass the time. A guy blessed me when I sneezed yesterday. Spun me out.
- Train stations only have two platforms. Sorry, what?
- They also don't house a Starbucks. Or even a shop. Just a closed ticket office.
- There's like zero signal. Anywhere.
- There's like shit loads of grass. Everywhere.
- There's no bars. All of the pubs but no bars. Oh yeah, and amusement arcades are still classed as entertainment. Naturally.
- The shop at the end of the road isn't automatically a Sainsbury's. Sometimes there's like an actual greengrocers. Shocking, I know.
- The charity shops still have wedding dresses in the windows and are actually charity shop prices. You know rather than racks and racks of Marc Jacobs with an average RRP of £*get a mortgage* like in London.
- It takes forever to get anywhere. The buses service all residential roads, in the world, ever...and they actually wait at stops for their allocated departure time. Ever such a lack of urgency outside the M25.
- Everyone is well old. And well white. Real shit.
- You either get offered tea or coffee. That's it. Lattes just aren't a thing. Don't dare ask for a Flat White. You will be punched.
- People say "Hello" in the street. Sometimes they stop and comment on the weather. It's all a bit nutty.
- C A R B O O T S A L E S A R E E V E R Y W H E R E
- Loads of places are cash only. And the only cash points are in actual banks. Like it's the 90's or some shit. Excuse me?
- Did I mention how white and old everyone is?
- Kids still wear Kangol. Oh yeah, that's happening.
- The news boards outside shops tell real, hard hitting, breaking news. Yesterday's special "Aldi Store Opening - Delayed" - for the record, that sent the Kent Gazzette into a flurry of panic and deadlines.
& last but not least, the thing that spun me out the most.
- Uber. "No Cars Available". Run!!!