Saturday, February 23, 2008

The dark side of London

Travelling alone is no mean feat. Yet sometimes that is what it takes to gain certain experiences and adventures. Some of which, admittedly, turn out to be undesirable.

Yes, it was a risk to make my tube and bus journey back to my hotel at Heathrow that late, but I was catching up with my friend Marisa (and time caught up with me). Luckily I did make the last bus from the tube station and double checked with the driver that he will drop me at the stop closest to the hotel. He agreed.

Next thing he stops in the middle of a very dark road in the middle of Middlesex and tells me to get off.

“Sorry, I made a mistake. This bus is not going to your stop.”

“So, how will I get back now?”

“Just wait at the bus stop across the road.”

So I did.

Not even a car passed by for a good fifteen minutes. Then a bus swooshed past with its lights off. I checked the bus schedule and found that my anxiety was justified. The last bus passed by here at 23:30. It was now 00:30.

With no airtime and no money (I spent my last pennies at the fabulous end-of-season sales in Oxford Street underneath the Chinese New Year lights) I was kind of left in the dark. The very, very dark.

Something moved in the bushes behind me. Should I follow the path through those crooked trees to the houses beyond? Will the witches get rid of me before I even reach a doorstep? The chill froze my screams and sprinted down my spine.

Eventually a lonesome taxi drove past. I lifted my hand. He stopped. When I heard his kind voice my tears came down like a rainstorm. I had never been that scared.

Sometimes I feel that my life has no weight. That I simply float through the world like a feather. But every time I find myself in a dangerous situation, an angelic figure appears to save me. There must be a reason why the higher powers want me to stick around.

That is why I will keep lifting my head and continue going where my soul guides me. Alone or not.

1 comment:

Globetrotter said...

I haven't been to London in years but the city makes the headlines quite a bit these days because of the rising crime rate. Yob culture taking its toll.