Friday, April 1

A Random Bumping

I recently wrote how (I thought anyway) I don't really have a problem talking to strangers provided I have a context to work with. This isn't really due to shyness, but rather 'cos in London it's safer to assume people want to be left alone. Of course we're not all like that; for example I don't mind and have had random conversations with people on the train before (if you're wondering, they usually involve the book that I was reading, the current delay on The Tube or even another random passenger). So yes, if someone approaches me then I'll probably respond tenfold.

Take last night as a case in point. Oxford Street Station, and I'm late(r) than usual coming home since I've been to the gym. An Epping service is on its way and I'm waiting for it listening to my music. Enter stage left, pretty looking Asian girl. Now this is quite surprising since I usually wait at the front of the train and it's usually quieter up there. The girl was obviously lost. Or so I thought.

"Excuse me, will this train get me to Gants Hill?" she asks. I explain that it wouldn't and that she'd have to wait for the HVNP service after this one. In my typical give-more-information-than-is-required fashion I also suggested that she could take the next train and change at Leytonstone since sometimes destinations change. Tenious, I know, but in this case she took the suggestion on.

So I ended up having quite pleasant company on the way home yesterday. We chatted about the book I was reading (it turns out she had no interest in Chinese history) and various other things - there were a few almost-awkward-silences but we both made efforts to avoid them.

Almost too soon, we hit Leytonstone. For those who don't know, this is where the services and so our company would diverge. Or not, as I decided to travel up to Gants Hill with my new friend. It was, after all, only a five minute bus journey away from my home.

We must have spent another half hour or so chatting at our destination station. It was one of those timeless situations which would have gone on for much longer if practicalities didn't get in the way (and no, I don't mean ER). Of course I offered to walk her home; she declined but I have a feeling that it was more out of politeness than to avoid confrontation with Super Protective Big Brother Number 2. So, a good one and a half hours after meeting and the exchanging of contact details later, we parted company.

Thinking about it the morning after, y'know, when the excitement and sheen of meeting someone new has worn off, I think I thought she was nice. I mean really nice. She was yet more proof that interesting balanced people do exist. And I'm not entirely sure yet but I think I found her attractive. Maybe.

But waiting at the bus stop it hit me: She lives in Gants Hill. And as far as I could tell, she had been for a while. Thinking about it further, she didn't have to be reminded that she had to change at Leytonstone, she had a season Oystercard and didn't seem to have luggage or any other indication that she was just visiting. Confused? I certainly was.

Still, I'm seeing her on the weekend so I guess I'll have a chance to ask her about all this. I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation for the stuff in the above paragraph - I've just no idea what it is.