Sunday, September 11, 2005

The way things are

On my way home tonight on the Northern line, a bearded Asian man got on the train and sat in the seat next to me. He was wearing a Muslim prayer hat and the concealing robe I don't know the name for. He was listening through earphones to some portable audio device and he was clutching his bag, a cheap laptop bag, tightly.

I saw a fellow passenger stare at this man warily and then get up and move down the carriage. I knew what was running through his mind, but I reassured myself that all the al Qaeda bombers I knew of had worn Western dress. And honestly you see people dressed like this all the time in London.

But I began to wonder just what he was listening to. I didn't reckon it was a popular beat combo. I began to wonder why he was holding the bag so tightly and to what he was listening so intently. Why did he keep checking his mobile. I began to wonder if maybe the guy who'd (now) left had the right idea.

I struggled to just ignore him and read my paper like a good little oblivious Londoner, but somehow I just couldn't quite manage.
I got off the train and waited for the next one.

I don't want to be like this.

9/11 3/11 7/7

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