Cities and Villages

This weekend I visited friends in Leeds. I had a good time and like usual when I travel by train, the pleasure started before I arrived. I spent a leisurely few hours starting to read the intriguing “Unbearable lightness of being”. We drank too much and played too much poker but we did visit an extremely good Italian restaurant. I’ve also hurt my arm playing Wii Boxing; injured playing a computer game? What a wuss!

Sat in a Burger King in London on the way home trying to avoid catching the attention of a (drunk? high? crazy?) bloke a couple of tables away I remembered why I’m often more comfortable in the small towns I’m used to. In tiny villages strangers may make small talk (“Awful weather isn’t it?”), in towns ignoring each other seems entirely normal. Large cities, on the other hand seem to have more people you have to actively ignore. If 1 in 5000 people are obnoxious, crazy or intoxicated enough to be unpleasant to strangers you’ll basically never see such people in Winchester whilst a typical trip across London will often include multiple encounters.