During lunch, between 1pm and 2pm the streets around the office crowd full of people.
People who are hungry and who have one hour, 60 minutes to pretend that they are not in a job. All cafe’s and eateries are full, Pret has queues around the block and even the self-service tills in Tesco’s cannot ease the load of sandwich hunting people.
The office working force is a funny bunch. Everything is routine. From the time they leave home ( maybe even a gettin up ritual) until they get back. They all arrive for work at the same time, making the peak hours of the tube an absolute delight. Whatever social boundaries and hang-ups the British might have, these are all out of the window between 8 and 9 am in London on public transport on a weekday. Whatever would be considered socially unacceptable any other time, any other place is now the norm. Elbows are coming out, personal space is invaded to the point of sexual harrasment and people actually snap at eachother – even though we are random strangers.
As I was walking down Tottenham Court Road today around 1.25pm, humming to myself in my own little world, on my way to some Miso Soup I suddenly heard a icy scream. As I looked left of me, I just saw a truck whizzing past a lady -also in her own little world- who was standing in the middle of the street. People stopped, shocked, she stood still and I looked at the scene absolutely mortified. This seemed ages but I’m sure it all took one second. One second of realisation that that one split second can make all the difference.