Posted by September Blue Friday, 25 September 2009

Down in London for work the other day, with a long, long day between travel. I've never liked London. It's big and incomprehensible and dusty, and you never know where the hell you are. But it does contain the British Library, which will forever be a mark in its favour, and it also contains my little brother, which I remembered the night before leaving. Ah, well, he's not at work, he's easy to get hold of.

Actual phone conversation with my brother:

"Hello sister!" [Not pseudonymising; he actually calls me that.]
"Where are you? I thought we were meeting up at half past."
"Yeah, but I can't work out how to get there. Where's the best tube station for the British Library?"
"I don't know you live here."
"Ohhh... [pause] King's Cross, okay? Meet me by the stairs."
"Which stairs?"
"The stairs."
"Oh right."
"See you in fifteen minutes, okay?"

Twenty-five minutes later:

"I can't see you. Meet you by the exit onto Euston Road?"
"I'm already there! By St Pancras."
"Well, you're not, because I'm already there and I don't see you."
"Right. Location. I can see the road, um, a man selling newspapers..."
"I don't think that's going to narrow it down, baby brother."
"King's Cross is on my left."
"King's Cross is on my left."
"Mmm. I'll ask a policeman."
"You - what?"
[Fuzzily, just about audible:] "Excuse me? Hello? I'm trying to meet my sister, but she doesn't know London very well. Do you know anywhere that's good to meet someone here?"
[Even more fuzzily:] "Oooh, depends. Where's she coming from?
[Still fuzzily:] "She says she's at the underground by St Pancras. But I don't think she is. But she can see the station."
[Still fuzzily:] "You could try King's Cross?"
[...Inaudible fuzziness...]
[My brother again:] "Okay, the information point at King's Cross. Can you find that?"

I found that. He introduced me to his friend as 'my sister, who has weird thumbs', I described being mortified by proxy that he actually asked for directions, he explained that this is what policemen are for in London, tsch, etc.