Oh that wonderful maze

Oh that wonderful maze

This morning my faith in humanity was restored. I’m not sure why I say restored, it never really went away, but when I told people two weeks ago I was going to London for the first time ever, I was cautioned and warned about how unfriendly the people were. This obviously followed the initial step back in amazement that at the age of 24 I had never been to the capital before. As I said at the time though, I’ve never needed to go.

Anyway, fast forward a fortnight and I am lugging my suitcase up the steps at Piccadilly Circus. I have already lost the novelty enthusiasm I had for the tube at the beginning of my stay and I am wondering why my suitcase always feels heavier on the way home, even though I categorically have not bought anything new (trust me, I don’t have the funds).

Note: not the actual Piccadilly Circus steps, used for dramatic effect

Note: not the actual Piccadilly Circus steps, used for dramatic effect

Two steps up and I see someone to the side of me pause, take their music out their ears and ask, “Would you like some help with that?” Do I look suitably peeved off and say for the sake of feminism (the volunteer is a middle-aged man) “Not at all, I have two arms and two legs and can carry my own suitcase just fine!”? Do I heck. I smile sweetly and say “Thank you very much that would be lovely.”

With my assent the gentleman hoists the case up (with one arm) and strides to the top of the steps while I look on in awe. Job done, he replaces the earphones and smiles goodbye as I thank him again for his assistance.

Now, the cynics among you may say, “Well you’re young and pretty,” (why thank you) “and that’s the only reason he helped you.” And in fact, that is exactly what my colleague did say when I waltzed into the office, full of the joys of spring and a lot less out of breath than I otherwise would have been.

Well, not exactly: “There must have been an ulterior motive,” says Ryan from Men’s Health when I recount my tale, “Humans are disgusting.” He has obviously lived in London for a lot longer than me. But I refuse my optimism to be dampened and endeavour to keep smiling for as long as possible.

Probably just as well I’m going back to Cardiff tonight then.