diamond geezer

 Thursday, October 16, 2003

Spot the difference

My best mate is flying into town this morning, seven months after emigrating to the States to start a new life. He's only over here for (nearly) a week, and the place hasn't been the same without him, but we're planning to make up for lost time later. I know there are a number of things he'll have missed while living in America, like proper teabags, decent music and vaguely sane politicians. It'll be a joy for him to be able to drink non-refrigerated beer again, to drive faster than 55mph and to watch a BBC TV channel that isn't endlessly looping Changing Rooms. The pie and mash shop is definitely on our list of places to visit, as is the chippie, as well as any café that can serve up a perfect greasy breakfast. Best mate has also missed all our flash mobs, and he'll have left before the next one (on October 25th) but he does assure me he's been out mobbing in San Francisco instead.

But what will he notice has changed over here in London during the months he's been away? Trafalgar Square has reopened, as has the Central line, and Canary Wharf continues to grow ever bigger. The capital's roads now clearly show the effects of the decongestion charge, but cyclists are definitely getting more aggressive (or maybe red lights don't apply to them?). The Tate Modern has swapped a big red tube for a big yellow sun, and now there's an anorexic American hanging in a box beside Tower Bridge. The invasion of the wheelie suitcases continues apace (maybe they're breeding), and more citizens are insisting on wearing Burberry (it's getting worse, I tell you), as well as those beanie hats half-covered with graffiti, and brown trainers (since when did brown trainers become fashionable?). And I've stopped going out so often, as you may have noticed by the fact I've been writing more on here since March. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to show best mate what he's been missing, or maybe what I've been missing...

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