Hola! Hope you're smiling :)
Catharine had taught me an important lesson, I couldn’t ignore it. Winter or summer, you go about your day as you would as long as there’s no rain, it is not impossible to walk. So with that thought, I agreed that it was still too early to go home at 7 pm. However, it was late for any wild exploration.
I asked myself where I would like to go for one last time before I leave London and the answer came easy – Piccadilly. My return flight was from London and if all went well, I was to spend New Year’s here in the city but I just wasn’t sure about my Saudi ticket and return plans which were at least 20 days later after touring across Europe.
My initial thought was to get to my favourite spot – the Hyde Park Corner but I wanted to see the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Sqaure and couldn’t bother about walking all the way. So I headed to Piccadilly station.
I remember being very proud of being so comfortable with the super-complex London Underground Metro, the Tube! It was my aha moment! I remember smiling all the while.
A story sprouted at the Piccadilly station that day which is best shared in two parts.
As I exited the tube station at Piccadilly, I turned around a corner to take the flight of stairs up and out when I suddenly found this man. I could hear his music from a distance and I have seen buskers in tube stations before but he was a surprise, a sudden pleasant sight. I stood there listening to him for a while. He sang of Christmas but he seemed lonely and didn’t smile. I had a few tiny gifts for nice strangers in my overloaded bag and I wanted to give him one along with some coins and a little note. I stood behind this man and he wasn’t looking at his guitar case when I gently dropped these in for him.
I knew nothing about this stranger, except that he sang of Christmas and that he seemed sad. I left no email address or identity on my note. Henceforth, I am unlikely to do anything like that. I love communication and love to see stories fly but this act of leaving no trace, no identity, no address, which is very unlike me, is to allow stories to wander.
So, he didn’t notice my dropping the coins and the little gift. Soon after, I got on the elevator and left the station, smiling about the nice episode.
After visiting Trafalgar and checking out the Christmas tree, I returned to Piccadilly tube station to get to Whitechapel, ‘home.’ I entered the same portal from where I exited an hour ago and looked for the nice busker but didn’t find him there but in his place was another superb busker whom I really wanted to film. I have no clue why I didn’t leave anything in his hat, I regret it to this day. Maybe because he seemed happy and got people’s attention, maybe I imagined he’d get a good collection or maybe I overspent that day – the sad fact remains that I didn’t leave anything for this awesome busker. Sadly, I lost the film but somebody was more careful with theirs! I am thrilled to find this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUsjEzOckkc – looks like he could really be popular 🙂
As I was filming him, I looked around me to see if other people were as amused with him as I was. As I looked, I caught an amazing sight – the previous, nice busker who played at the same spot had packed up his music gear and was exiting the tube station. He held something very gently and dearly, I zoomed into what he was holding and saw that it was my gift to him – the bookmark and the note.
It didn’t matter that I didn’t leave any identity on the note. I was meant to see him with that note in his hand that he held so preciously – I knew this is my reward, a beautiful story I will cherish for life.