‘No smoking’

36. 1am. Top deck, front right.

Travelling home from a gig in Deptford, my friend and I suddenly caught the unmistakeable pong of pot smoke drifting through the bus. We turned around to see an elderly Rasta man in the back row, contentedly puffing away. Now, my friend is British and, while I’m not, I often behave in a restrained British way, and both of us instinctively said nothing – though we did giggle a bit. But then from the rest of the passengers came a resounding ‘No smoking! NO SMOKING!’ The folk of South London are able to chastise each other when necessary. This strikes me as healthy and good. What kind of community are we, after all, if we stay out of each other’s way to the point that we can’t address the big and little things? The elderly man grumbled a bit then put out his joint, and we all continued on our journey.

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