I grew up in London. Well, a London borough: Harrow>>> well, Pinner to be more specific. But it’s still a London borough and I’m still a Londoner>> get used to it blud. I’ve seen London change> shops and brands come and go, record shops ebb and flow, livelihoods thrive. I used to go to Euston to eat masala dosas, the best in town; head over to Rough Trade to buy CDs, the best in town; thrive in the aisles of Daunts bookshop and they’re all going-going-going… so listen Scottish people, stop calling me a tourist in my own town thanks.
I’m walking through the hallowed streets of Wood Green to view a flat. A drunk Scottish guy stumbles out of a hedge and bumps into me; being polite, I excuse myself and continue on my way. He chases after me and squares up to me, beer breath bating my tastebuds.
‘Learn how to walk you fucking tourist.’
‘Pardon? I was born in London. Where were you born?’
‘You arguing tourist? You’re just visiting… get back to where you’re visiting from… fucking radge tourist.’
Next thing I know- I’m the one in the hedge.
I eating a cheeky Chinese takeaway from the foil container, nyamming on to my cousin about some nerdy thing or another. I’m on an escalator going down into Oxford Circus. Drunk. Yes, I’m drunk. I stumble at the bottom. A voice rings out, unmistakably Scottish…. ‘Fuckin’ tourist…’
I lose it: ‘Who the fuck said that? How the fuck dare they? This is my city. I was born here. You’re the tourist mate. I am a Londoner. I am a Londoner through and through. I’m from a London borough and you’re from…. across the border. How the fuck dare you call me a tourist?’
A couple is standing directly in front of my rant. The ‘tourist-dropper’ has disappeared.
‘We didn’t call you a tourist,’ recoils the girl.
‘Yeah, I know. Who did?’
‘We saw who said it.’
‘Where are they?’
‘Were you upset? Did it make you cry to be called a tourist?’
‘No, it’s annoying though…’
‘I know what made me cry…’ The girl bursts into tears and is lead away by a boyfriend obviously in trouble.
Moral of the story: don’t get upset if someone calls you a tourist cos you might make someone else cry.
Next: Electric Picnic this weekend with the Book Club Boutiquers. Ow-right….