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Random London conversations

Random London conversations

On the last Sunday night tube home, HyperHam manages to do the impossible and persuade a random stranger to talk to us by the simple expedient of pointing at a film poster on the tube platform opposite.

Through the conversation – which principally centres around the difference between horror films from the East versus torture porn from Hollywood, and how Eastern films have absolutely zero problem jumping from genre to genre in the blink of an eye – we also discover that:
– he and his girlfriend got so coked-up last night that she stormed out when he berated her for being unable to open a fridge door
– she’s attempted to make amends the day after by serving him ribs
– wearing a scruffy striped shirt and long coat is enough to make me look like a “City boy”. Which I wouldn’t mind so much if I hadn’t spent the last 20 minutes mildly discussing film, and I patently do not have the style or money to carry off the City boy look.

Honestly, if you want to provoke conversations with a stranger, carry an American around.

Getting Londoners talking? Noooooo

Getting Londoners talking? Noooooo

While Miss S was in London, she’d often shock me speechless by telling me she’d talked to two, or four random strangers in London – AND THEY’D TALK BACK! I am of course, putting this down to her irrepressible (and believe me, I’ve tried!) optimism, bounciness and general all-American (in a positive way) manner.

Something odd must be in the London water supply, because there’s now a campaign to Get The Tube Talking on Wed 17 December. They suggest engaging fellow commuters on the tube with some small chit-chat and small talk. Except they haven’t actually suggested what lines of small talk to use – and I for one, am not that brilliant at chatting to random strangers. What can I say that isn’t too boring? Hell, I just had a meeting, and I completely forgot to shake the guy’s hand on my way out the door.

Also, these days given the sheer amount of shopping bags that bring out the inner environmentalist Marxist in me, I’d be far likely to bark out “WHY. ON. EARTH. DO. YOU. NEED. SIX SHOPPING BAGS AND TWO HANDBAGS? GET OUT OF MY WAY!”

Fortunately, I take the bus to work. Or bike.

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