dimanche 20 mars 2016
A STUDENT IN SOHO
A STUDENT IN SOHO
Come to think of it, London has been in my mind longer than any other city in the world, even longer than Miami along with Havana. None of these three cities provoke any negative feeling in me and I enjoy when I am there and long with a sweet passion when I am away.
I was retracing my steps. First of course was Bar Italia which was my daily haunt during my university days at London, some of the establishments are still there, but others have been gulped by the march of time, but Soho remains Soho.
Walked past the theatre where I saw Les Miserables for the first time, the Chinese restaurant where I said good bye to my Jamaican girlfriend, Foyle’s where you ran into authors from Africa and Asia. What was amazing that I remembered the restaurants which used to occupy the newly fashionable stores and some of the dishes I had tasted, that memory startled me.
Soho shared the enthusiasm of a student from a neo colonial English speaking nation, of future of reality and dreams, it is as if I always returned to London to find my direction and left soon afterwards. Ronnie Scott’s where I listened to Chucho Valdez for the first ever time with Irakere. I was not longing for those days but grateful for the memories, for London to have become a part of me, which I shared with some people close to my heart. Like London they too remain in my consciousness, albeit scattered to Cologne or Kingston or Teheran. I always think of my dear teacher and friend Cecil Helman.
As students, spending money was not a concern because of inadequate funds but ideas were never lacking and imagination was very colourful.
Yesterday I was in Kuala Lumpur, today I am staying at a nice hotel near Green Park and look forward to the next four days of an important event in my life. Thus yet another hook in space in my heart where London resides.
What a nice welcome by the Immigration Officer when she handed me . the Preferred Traveller card. I thanked her profusely, it means that I no longer will have to stand in line, can use automated gates, much like Global Entry while entering the USA!