The 11:30 p.m. trans-Atlantic flight from Toronto to London is called the red-eye for a reason. I slept about four hours but sleep was of little concern once in London. London is a lot like New York City albeit funnier accents. The city is a teeming cultural polyglot; England, paying it’s colonialist debt to places like India, Australia and any number of African countries. It is a debt paid in citizenship. I find myself in danger as I shade my eyes from bright sunshine (I thought England would be gray) as I stand on a street corner looking at people, inventing lives they might or might not want. I lose balance stepping off the curb. The blaring horn of a London cab gives me just enough time to get to safety. (These guys eat their young – I’m sure). It would not be the first time I would step off the curb and forced to run for my life across the street. London cabs don’t slow down. This rule must be written in bold ink in their instruction manual. Also, I should say that London cabs – real London cabs are ugly. I mean really, really ugly. Ford Fiesta’s have a Rolls Royce beauty by comparison. A twenty London cab pile-up could only improve their looks. There are no other cars in London that look like the London cab. If a reason exists for the ugliness of the London cab (like there’s not enough ugly to go around etc.), I certainly did not find it on this trip.
I love the little cabs. They look like little towys and the cab drivers are hilarious. Yeh, they are a little homely, but you can’t miss them for what they are. They are right up there with the phone booths and the doubledecker buses. Do people still use phone booths in London?