Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Saturday, November 11, 2006

They do that round here...

Big Truth's berating me for taking a slow Friday night trip through scummy South London Suburbs.
"I mean where the hell are you now? And how come your phone's still working in Sevenoaks?"
"It's not Sevenoaks? And it's only my oyster card that's screwed."
"Well where the hell are you then?"
"I don't know, I lost count at New Malden."
"You've been at work since yesterday morning, it's Friday night, I'm going to a lesbian bar and your housemates have each brought a hot Scandinavian cousin home. So why the hell aren't you in West London?"
"Something to do with Uncle points. And it's not my fault my sister lives in the middle of nowhere."

Really, I should have complained about being in the middle of nowhen. Somewhere *way* beyond the borders of what could possibly be called South London, I'm hearing a lot of things that I haven't heard in a long time.

"X isn't here at the moment, can I take a message? No, I'm not sure where she is."
"Well, apparently she left work an hour ago but I don't know if she'll be wanting food. Let's wait till she gets back until we cook."
"Well, I waited for him for about an hour but he didn't turn up. I don't know where he got to."
"I hate that when you're running late and someone's waiting for you."

In desperation, I finally blurted it out: "Does no-one in this house actually have a mobile? Every problem you've had in the past 24 hours could have been solved by a simple text."
"Yeah, I thought about it, but I'm just worried if I got a mobile people would call me on it all the time."
"We settled that one years ago. We all decided to say sod it and buy one anyway. And now the culture of how we meet, travel and chat has completely changed and you two just seem odd."
"Well, 10 years ago no-one had a phone and we all survived."
"Yep, and 10 years ago staying in touch was a lot harder. And I spent too much time waiting for people. Just buy a sodding mobile."

My frustration grew a little later when I remembered I had a laptop full of photos of their son's first 4 months of life.
"Yeah, I'll get these to you...do you have any, um, technology?"
"Not really, no."
"How about if I print them out for you?"

It was maybe a little harsh. I've just got so used to all my technological aides, and am finding it hard to imagine life without being constantly in touch. Maybe I miss out by never being out of reach. I'm just wondering if there's a 1990's Amish movement I missed. Maybe there's more out there.

I'll keep an eye out for those next time I get on the slam-door train down south...


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