London Calling

It's been about 30 years since I last visited London. I've been to Newcastle a few times, but avoided being in London. But this year my family (including princesses who are rapidly turning into teenagers) decided to "do" England and Ireland, so we are meeting in London. I'm here a few days earlier with WiseMan in order to do some vacationing ourselves.

The first thing you notice about London is that everyone seems to have earphones on, and half of the people are talking loudly into their shoulders. And I mean LOUDLY. I'd be rich if I wrote a novel about every drama I've half heard just the past few days. And they are addicted to their phones! Even a proper English professor I was meeting for dinner took a "Selfie" with me and sent it on to a friend, sharing the immediate response with me, as we discovered that I had just recently been in correspondence with just this friend.

From the ads I gather that mobile phones are incredibly cheap to use, 10 pounds buys 700 minutes a month and 5000 (!) SMS and 500 MB of data. In Germany you would pay three times that.

I observed one woman at a bus stop, hair set in stone with hairspray, dressed in a very close-fitting black leather top and mini-skirt, with a shopping bag in one hand and a small box with a slice of pizza in the other, yakking away on her phone. She had the phone, a non-smartphone, held tight with her bra strap pulled out a bit from her shoulder. As she boarded the bus, it turned out that she even had two kids in tow. The bus driver called her back to user her bus card to pay for the trip - she had to give the pizza box to her little boy while she got out the card, while continuing to talk on the phone.

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