Local Customs

Local Customs

After a movie at the Curzon , Bloomsbury I caught the Piccadilly line at Russell Square for  Hammersmith, where my push bike was parked.  I read the London Evening Standard which  that day could have been called Stabbing News.

Fifteen year old rapper Leoandro Osemeke had been butchered at a Peckham house party, Bashir Hassan had got his in Battersea while trying to break up a fight. Elsewhere vile daggers had been at work when three men had been caught on CTV chasing and  knifing another in Wembley. And then there was Andrew Oteng-Owutsu,19 who had been  carved to death on his door step in New Cross.

As I was thinking how far all this mayhem was from leafy Putney,the synchronised  diving and the gymnastics, a middle aged gentleman got on the train and sat opposite. Remarkable because  he was wearing the full Bangladeshi kit. The long shirt,the baggy trousers,the beard, the  hat.

I finished the paper and put it on the next seat. Mustapha Read lent over and pointed to the paper. I got the meaning, picked it up and handed it to him. He started to read.

I said, Usually we say thank you. One or two in the carriage looked up and smiled. Mustapha looked a bit shocked. I continued, Its an English thing, we show gratitude by saying thank you. That got him going, Thank you  much, thank you so much. He was losing marks for repetition. So I said, Calm down, but just remember.

A man in  a flat hat sitting opposite winked, Mustapha got on with the paper and  I wondered whether I would drink white or rose that night. It turned out to be rose.

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One Response to Local Customs

  1. Dave Briant says:

    Just in case you imagine yourself to be fair-minded, can I remind you (inform you?) that you are actually a racist? I hope this comes as a dreadful shock to you and you instantly recognize yourself as the smug prick you are. What a long way you’ve come since those halcyon Keele days!

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