Strangers on a train

Last weekend I was in Home City, trying to shake off the tedium, tiredness and paranoia accrued on me in this place. Once I set foot on the airport it was the good other me all over again.

I could breathe. Hypochondria, paranoia, mad worries, distilled bitterness, acidic frustration — all dissolved. Replaced by lightness. Inspiration and perspiration (by way of long walks). Hope. The works. It all came back. And stayed with me throughout the weekend. Then they were lost in the airport waiting room on the way back here. Along with my Compatridia mobile (I only mourn for the stored SMSs, a part of my personal history, and some pictures — there was nothing else in there).

On Sunday morning I woke up groggy after the Daylight Savings Time change and after setting off to the Place Under Renovation I remembered a discussion I had with a City worker on the train from London to Market Town. I was also going back home from work, so the inevitable chit-chat ensued (how have I missed that). The guy was archetypically English in both having a very expensive suit on (probably worth a couple of months’ earnings back then) and displaying signs of not having washed for a significant number of days. It was 2000 or 2001, I think.  When I asked him why he lived in Market Town, given that he worked in the City, some 80 km away, he told me:

I can’t afford to buy in London and I cannot afford the house in Market Town unless I work in the City.

So, last Saturday, in fairly good weather, in a lively and exciting city I was born in and have a small flat in and fond memories from, I thought that in 2009, I am by now like that guy: I can’t bear living uninterruptedly in the Outpost and I cannot afford to live in Home City (even 3 months a year) unless I work in the Outpost.

So, there.


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