Yesterday i was holed up in a vacant apartment building in Mayfair, London awaiting the eventual (?) break in the high pressure system that has left the skies over Europe in a state familiar to most victorians, polluted but free of flying machine. When everyone had been sorted into overpriced business hotels, i ended up across the street from the Sultan of Brunei and a block away from the Saudi Embassy, where lingering a little too long will get you a polite machine gun nod from the guards. The apartment was stocked with underripe bananas, a volcano with a name cribbed from the Icelandic Saga had quieted the skies, and there i was listening to folk music from the tinny speakers in the empty apartment. It was the closest i’ve ever been to being in a Pynchon novel.
Today i moved hotels to a part of town devoid of middle eastern royalty. Where it seems people actually live and work and aren’t extras in a hollywood backlot of London. It’s the type of place where you can get punched for cheering for the wrong football club and the guinness is served warm. It’s much more comfortable.