The Train Station in London

March of 2012, Boot size 10/11

My dear readers,

You would think that with an entire week of spring break that I would have been able to get a lot of writing done. I would too, and I was looking forward to getting stuff done. Then of course the reality of not having to do anything smacked me in the face and I melted into a puddle of oh-my-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-do-ANYTHING!!!! Suffice to say I curled around my cat a lot and watch X-Men Evolution and spent as much time as possible with my partner. I enjoy the schmooze… though I wish I had worked more on my research paper. Or my precalc homework…

That is my poorly formulated excuse as to my lack of the tale I had promised in my last post… And thus I dive into actually sharing with you another adventure from my life.

Okay I lied; first I have to spill one little piece of news for the future. My cosplay for AB is going great! I just got draped by my best friend and we had a blast doing it. I cannot wait to see the final result. With that little tidbit over with, I can continue.

This story has no particular moral or point; it is more of an experience I never expected. This story begins in a train station in London, England, in April of 2008 (Boot Size 9 at this point). I was on a week-long excursion visiting my older sister who was studying abroad there. Seeing that she could not drive, and I was not legally allowed, we walking and took trains… a lot. Not complaining of course, I am more afraid of driving in London than I am of public transportation (which I am proud to say that I am getting better at).

One quirk I learned in traveling around to many different countries is that in many places, especially Europe, you have to pay to use a public restroom (such as the ones found in train stations). To two very poor girls this meant no sticking together when my sister suddenly had to use the restroom. Determined not to pay the ten cent fee, I leaned back against a pole facing the restrooms and began to wait for my sister.

It was during this time of loitering that one of my… creepier tales really got going.

It was about two minutes into allowing my mind to wander while music blasted into my ears that I noticed something odd happening at the mens room. There were an awful lot of cops and security guards gathering and heading in. Curious, I paused my music and stood up (I am lazy at heart and sat after about thirty seconds of waiting) to try and get a better look. What I saw surprised me.

Being lead out by many policemen was one man. No weapon or gun or anything threatening. Although I won’t lie he kinda freaked me out. Please try and keep in mind I was much younger (especially mentally, I really bloomed into myself when in Japan). So When I saw this guy I was kinda terrified.

It was apparent the poor gentleman was homeless, and possibly mentally touched in some way. His clothes were ripped and dirty, and his hair was salt-and-pepper colored, unkempt, and stringy. I won’t lie he looked like the stereotypical bum you see in the musicals, except he wasn’t smiling. And once I noticed his arms, he didn’t look like a singing bum anymore. Down his forearms were deep gouges, freshly scabbed over. At that point I was counting the milliseconds for my sister to come out, despite the fact that I knew I was safe (he was safely under the control of the officers). Nevertheless I was rather shaken.

I have lived in a small town my whole life. Therefore seeing odd occurrences like that is very rare. Yes I have traveled to more countries in my first eighteen years of life than many have been to their entire lives, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a fish out of water sensation when in the city. While something like what I saw in London is not impossible to happen in a small town, let’s face it’s not as likely as it happening in a public restroom in a train station in London. There are physically more people in the city that in small towns, giving a higher chance of there being people that can spawn an event similar to this. It was odd, it was bizarre, but it provides a good story of the crazy things that can happen during an adventure, especially when you’re getting out of your element.

If stuff like this can freak you out? Relax! Learn to go with the flow. Think about the stories you’ll have to tell your kids! I for one will always keep this little vignette on the brain.

Until my next adventure,

Viviana Ayre

Categories: Europe, Past Tides | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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