She took her first steps in Australia

Ahead of the Japanese feast tomorrow, I had to take a trip into town for some essential shopping of ingredients you can only get from the Japanese Centre in Panton Street, down from Piccadilly Circus. Fortunately, it’s one of my favourite shops in London and is quite easy to get to, so it’s not exactly a chore.

And the weather was perfect for a trip into London.

I left home at just gone 10:00 and was back by 14:30, so it was also a good, peak hour free journey.

Actually, I had planned to be gone a little bit longer. I had wanted to have ramen in the shop as there’s an excellent little restaurant, with bench chairs and tables but, by the time I arrived, the lunchtime crowds had flooded the place. I grabbed a takeaway nigiri sushi instead, which I thoroughly enjoyed on the train home.

Naturally, being on so much public transport, I overheard lots of conversations.

There were the two ladies who didn’t know each other but were sat together. Their conversation started at Charing Cross, where they both admired the building over the station though one of them said “Every time I see it I feel it needs a wash” which the other lady agreed with.

I almost turned around and agreed with them when they said the best way to really see London was from a bus. When you have the time, the leisurely journey across London can be very pleasant. Obviously, if you’re late for a very important date, you may get a little frustrated with the time spent standing still.

I think my favourite overheard conversation was on the bus back to Waterloo. As we drove by Trafalgar Square, a couple behind me were catching up. I think they were friends who hadn’t seen each other for a while. Anyway, she told the story of how her parents took her to Australia on a long haul flight before she could walk. She said, “We were visiting relatives. I took my first steps in Perth.

Talking about conversations: The guy who served me in the shop was, I think, Spanish. Obviously, I’m an Anglo-Aussie-Swede.

We chatted about various things in the short time it took to tote up my purchases then, as I took the receipt and was about to say bye, he said “arigatou” with a little dip of the head towards me. I automatically repeated my thanks, nodded and said goodbye. It occurred to me, as I left the shop, that neither of us were Japanese.

All in all, a very pleasurable trip. Even the trains were on time and there was a bus waiting for me at Aldershot station for the final leg home.

Bliss.

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