Encounter in a bus shelter

During the late 1980s I was working in the city of London and living on the outskirts, and so caught the bus into work each day. I was lucky enough to be working variable shifts, so I rarely came up against rush hour commutes.

My job wasn’t that well paid, so I’d made my home in a relatively inexpensive suburb which had a high immigrant population, especially Africans from the likes of Somalia, Nigeria and Gambia. Few spoke English beyond a few words, but I always smiled at them at the bus stop and they generally smiled back. It was mostly mums, wearing bright ethnic clothing, with usually several children in tow.

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