Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm not the Ipswich killer!

Taken from an email I sent my landlady-to-be in Amsterdam:

The trip back to England was a bit of a nightmare. The plane arrived at Luton at 9.30pm after which I needed to catch a train to Nottingham. Rather stupidly, I hadn’t looked into the rail situation at that time of night and found that the last train going in my direction was a train to Derby. So I had to get off at a station (Long Eaton) as close as possible to Nottingham from where I’d get a taxi. I’d never been to Long Eaton before so wasn’t prepared to find it a rather strange ‘non-town’ with an almost non-existent station placed on the outskirts of the town. I arrived there at half past midnight and found myself almost in the middle of nowhere with not a taxi in sight. Well, there were taxis around but they were ferrying people about or had stopped working for the night.

I started to walk towards the town centre thinking that it would be easier finding a taxi there.

About 100 metres ahead of me, I could see a woman walking in my direction. She’d probably seen me wandering around aimlessly on the corner and wondered what I was up to. At that point, I crossed the road as a taxi was approaching on the other side of the road and I thought it may stop. It didn’t. I crossed back again, thinking that, as a local, she’d know where I could find a taxi at that time of night. As I approached her, I could see that she looked rather panicked. In fact, she looked like a gazelle trapped in the a pantechnicon’s headlights. I asked her about taxis and she, pointing wildly in the direction of the town centre, she stammered ‘There, that way. You must go that way!’

Long Eaton is a long way from Ipswich but I’m sure the murders have made women walking in dark, isolated places feel very vulnerable. Poor thing, I wonder if she slept well that night?

It reminded me of when I lived in Brighton when I sometimes used to catch the bus just outside Sainsbury’s at the bottom end of St James’s street in Kemptown. A beautiful black woman sometimes used to catch the same bus with her young son. One day I overheard them speaking Portuguese to each other so I moved closer to them and said something (in Portuguese) stupid like, ‘You speak Portuguese, so where are you from?’ There are a lot of oddballs in Brighton but I don’t think I especially look like one. Nevertheless, she looked a bit freaked out by the question and seemed loathe to reply. Feeling rather foolish, I said something even more stupid. ‘Don’t worry, I’m not trying to hit on you, I’m gay.’

Oddly enough, after that rather unpromising beginning, we became quite good ‘bus-friends’.


Blogger Caroline said...

I can't believe you didn't make any strange remarks about that station's name...

Glad to hear you are not the Ipswich killer too.

9:45 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

Oh and I forgot to mention I've just blogged another orange synchronicity with you!

10:13 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

lol.. that is both funny and sad. What an age we live in where you have to be under constant worry for your safety.

Good to know you are just a lost soul and not stalking anyone though.. hehe...

2:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm suprised you actually managed to get back into the UK they seem to be diverting or grounding every flight.

Welcome back ^_^

6:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh heh... wonder if she's still dwelling on her "close shave"? maybe you started a whole new chapter in her life by influencing the way she looks at strangers?!?

9:02 am  
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