Just behind the Cathedral of Saint Paul, there is a white square, immaculate, and in the center there is no one, but in the colonnade there are hidden a multitude of pubs, where people are having a drink. The area is actually compared to Wall Street in New York City; in fact we are in London’s financial district, and after 6 p.m. business men, before going home, have a drink with their colleagues. The pubs in effect are full of people in suits and ties and women in tailored suits.
Mark tells me there it’s his favorite place. Despite the crowd, it seems as if the columns contain the noise, deaden it, in the middle of the square. Admiring the sundial, I feel a sense of peace, it’s really unusual. I pay attention to the dim rays that touch the sundial and I fixed the months, the hours, the time … Wow! The time!
It’s 19.30 and I have to be at home by 8pm! Thinking at the time I completely forgot it!
There’s a fork in the road where Mark and I separate; I’m going to the subway, while he continues to Brick Lane, where his friends are waiting to meet him at 8. We promise to meet again, when we both return to the United States.
When I arrive at Alain’s house, the Mexican boy opens the door, because Alain is in the shower, so we take this opportunity to talk each other in Spanish. Last night I hadn’t the pleasure to speak with Luciano, first of all because he doesn’t speak English and because he had taken refuge in his room; maybe it was the influence of Fredrick. I broke the ice and established a friendship with him – my sociable way chased away the shyness of the Mexican boy.
His journey is almost at an end, he began in Madrid, then on to Paris. In London, Luciano is experiencing the last stage of his trip. But before leaving for Mexico he could extend his stay to learn a little bit of English. I then reprove him because if he wants to learn the language, he must try to speak English with me instead of Spanish. After he has finished his shower, Alain takes a takeaway menu and asks us both what we would like for dinner. I take salmon with teriyaki sauce, while Luciano chooses chicken grilled with pilaf rice, because he doesn’t feel well in his stomach.
During dinner Alain talks just about Italy: his working experience in Piemonte and holidays’ in Tuscany. I look at him fascinated, excited to be able to share my views with an Italian.
He confessed to me, that he receives hundreds of requests a day via the Couch Surfing site, because London is a popular destination, as well as very expensive, especially in this period where there was the Jubilee, and where there will be the Olympics in late July. He wanted to host me because he has a special sympathy for the Italians, and he confesses to me that I embody the positive stereotype of Italians.
He prepares coffee strictly with the Bialetti Moka, the best Moka in Italy, and he lets me see the brand, as if to emphasize the quality of the coffee. Despite the mention of coffee, I begin yawning, and eagerly clear the table in the room where we ate, which is the room where I sleep and hopefully they will let me go to sleep. It’s not very late, but tomorrow I have to get up early: at 6:00 the clock alarm is set for and I have to take the subway before 7:00 am. I can’t be late as it is also a technique to save money. Actually with the Oyster Card before 7:00 am is considered Off Peak rate, from 7am then there is the “peak employment” and \they charge the normal rate. Anyway I had to leave by 7:30 because I have the plane at 11:00 and then a half hour before it’s even better!
I’m looking forward to tomorrow, New York I’m coming!