Saturday, 17 October 2009


An Exchange On The Stairs

My brother missed his flight, so he texted me to see if I wanted to meet him after I was done at work. So I got in, and we got tickets for a film, but still half an hour to kill, so we decide to grab a snack, with intention of  eating properly after the film. Its 18 degrees, the warmest its been in a few weeks now. It’s the school holidays, its home time for a lot of people - so this corner here of Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall  Street is mobbed. A crowed has gathered round the steps at the concert hall, those street dancers doing their robo thing, their breaky thing - I don’t get the fuss, I’ve seen them before, they never seemed that good. We nip into the shop, get a bite, a drink, and come back out, and the crowd has dispersed, mostly. So with the mild weather we decide to sit on the steps, eat, drink, watch the world go by. The Royal Concert hall hasn’t always been here, it was built in my life time, with its three layers of stone steps up to the main entrance, where people always sit around if the weather permits. So we sit there, weaving by the stragglers from the dance crew, by a couple of girls looking around, and various others. Two pairs of police officers come up the stairs, they quiz the groups of kids. They seem to pick out certain kids in particular, from experience, it would seem. The two girls we passed move up from first set of stairs to second set of stairs, they are dressed casually, but are clearly not part of any of the other groups that are sitting around, though they are waiting for something. One of them is a brunette, the other her hair is a lighter colour, both have long hair. The darker haired one decides to make a call, or something, I only half notice, until they move. There is another girl, sitting on the other side of the steps, on the other side of the arc, one I am only half conscious of, out the corner of my eye. The dark haired girl darts towards the other girl, who stands up. Two strangers at an allocated meeting point. The other girl is holding a black rectangle, a wallet, which she hands to the brunette. The brunette produces a small bunch of flowers which she hands over in exchange. The brunette’s friend catching up after a moment, a witness to this curious conversation. And its clear, the girl lost her wallet, got a call from the other girl to say it had been found, and they arranged to meet here, with the flowers as a thank you. We finish our food, look at the time, better get round to the cinema.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


Train From Linz To Vienna

I’m getting the train from Linz to Vienna on a Thursday morning. Getting on I am surprised to find that the train is split into small compartments. Which strikes me as being something that is particularly old fashioned, and not the layout of a regular train. This throws me some, and I’m unsure about how I tell what is free and what isn’t, where I can sit and where I can’t. The corridor here is narrow, there are other people blocking it with their bags, making calls, making my life difficult as I try to get past with my own bag. As such I admit I find the first mostly empty compartment and go in, I lurch in, hefting my bag up onto the high level shelf. There are two people in the carriage – man and a woman. He has obviously been on the train for a while; she is like me, settling in having boarded in Linz. He sits by the window; I sit on the same side, with a seat between us. She sits opposite him, with him sprawled across the tiny table emerging from the wall. She fumbles with the seat, frowns, and seems that there is something wrong with it, so she switches to the middle seat on that side. There is a bit of a conversation, and while I don’t speak German I get enough of an impression that they are discussing whether these seats are reserved or not. The conclusion would appear to be that they are ok, so I settle down with my book and MP3 player for the journey ahead.

The guy is a character. He clutches a can of lager and reads a magazine, which looks to be heavy metal and tattoos, and the like. His eyes have that heavy disposition which suggests he is reasonably drunk. He makes comments to us every so often, mostly giving the impression of trying to be helpful. Though I mostly have little idea what he is talking about, and remain as non-committal as I can. He wears a base ball cap, turned round, baseball shoes, baggy trousers, and a towel around his neck. As the journey goes on, he sprawls across the table, half asleep, fading in and out. As he nods off, his hat falls off, clatters to the floor of the carriage. Each time this happens he wakes up again, lifts the cap and puts it back on. The fact that this means it will fall off again in five minutes is obviously beyond his power of rational thought at this point in time. So indeed, five minutes later, the cap falls off and he does it all again. The woman looks at him with distaste on a number of these occasions as he fishes his hat from her feet.

She is fumbling with her bag when I arrive. One for the shelf, one beside her, fishing out a magazine which she reads for most of the journey. Her hair is brown, perhaps with a shade of red mixed in from a bottle. Its short, but big, sticking out from her head in a flaring crown. She wears a sleeveless white blouse, with high wasted black trousers. She wears complicated black shoes, which lace up on top, while having open toes and heels, the heel is a couple inches, striped black and white. She has a green velvet smart jacket, which she has folded beside her black hand bag, out of which I can see an umbrella handle – a clear plastic duck at the end of the grip.

Part way another woman comes in with her pug dog. She takes the seat the other woman abandoned, by the window, across from the other guy. The dog sprawls out across the floor, sandy coloured, happy to be there. She digs make up out of her bag, applying it while using a pocket mirror. She layers on heavy foundation, in that unfortunate fashion where she leaves a clear line of delineation along her jaw, pale and white below that line. Once she has done this, she plumps up her heavy brown hand bag, rests her head on her arm on top of the bag and dozes off until we reach Vienna.

Upon reaching Vienna the guy and the blonde are out of the carriage at the outskirts, getting off before the train terminates at Wein Westbahnhof. As we pull into the last station the first woman sits, poised, on the edge of her seat, ready to get off, waiting for the train to stop. She says something to me, I have to make my apologies, sorry, can’t understand you. She smiles, switches to English, nods, in a never mind fashion. Then she decides to ask where I am from, and we discuss visiting Linz, where she is from, and visiting Vienna. I tell her I am only here for the weekend, and she tells me that isn’t really enough, but its ok when I tell her this is my second trip here. She is here for the shopping, she says, there are some better shops in Vienna and she likes to come for the shopping. She indicates the bigger bag, which she intends to fill. She is going on holiday as well, a trip to Indonesia is imminent. The train arrives, we grab our bags and she tells me to enjoy myself, and I say similar to her.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Bob & Silent Jay

We’re in Forbidden Planet, going through the new releases, when these two American guys brush by. There are a handful of flyers for a spoken performance by Kevin Smith, on the flyer it says “director of Clerks 2 and Zack & Miri”. The first one says - woh, Kevin Smith! The second looks puzzled, so he clarifies – you know, guy directed Clerks 2! You know, guy who did Bob & Doug! I mean Bob and Silent Jay! Now they are both getting confused, so the first guy decides to finish the conversation – well, if you know him you know him! The inference clearly being that a man like him knows his Bob & Silent Jay, even if you don’t.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]