diamond geezer

 Tuesday, July 18, 2006

DISPATCHES FROM THE E3 URBAN FRONTLINE.

Everybody's heading for the local convenience store on Bow Road.

There's a big Tesco ten minutes down the road, but it's hot and nobody can be bothered to walk that far. It's worth paying over the odds for basic foodstuffs just to avoid hiking down the arterial road and sweating like a pig.

Somebody's tied a mangy dog to the handrail on the shallow concrete ramp outside the front door. A couple of schoolkids hang around waiting for their mate to emerge with a pocketful of sweets, maybe nicked while nobody was looking, maybe not. Bow's local beggarwoman accosts every passer-by for the small change they will never offer.

The door opens with a blaring electronic fanfare. Not far inside is the rack of lottery playslips - could this be your ticket out of here? In the first aisle you'll find several varieties of plastic bread, just beyond the mostly full-fat milk. Don't expect any of these to last long beyond their sell-by date - you'll be back soon enough to stock up again. Deeper inside the shop are the not-quite ripe bananas, the over-priced packets of cereal and the grainy photocopier. Many of the products never change, but it's not quite the old Co-Op it used to be.

Security cameras train their eye along the shelves, with random aisles flashing up on the big screen above the tills in glorious black and white. There's a Bow Quarter resident flicking through the ready meals, and there's a Bromley-by-Bow mother hunting down the cheapest rice. But many customers need never venture down into the farthest recesses of the shop. Everything they require is stocked up front, just behind the counter.

"60 Benson and Hedges"
"Bottle of Johnny Walker"
"12-pack of weak own-brand lager"
"Litre of cheap generic alcoholic throat-burner"


A beery tracksuited lout leans across the counter and harangues the shopkeeper, eyeing up his turban with poorly-concealed disgust. He repeats the same ill-judged racist insult over and over, his lager-soaked mind seemingly incapable of independent thought. Yes, prices in here are steep, but white pays no more than any other colour of skin. The Costcutter family edge closer for protection, dignified in their silence. Eventually their verbal assailant departs, confident of moral victory, but he'll be back again tomorrow for another bottle or three.

"Next please, who's next?"


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream