12. 1am. Bottom deck, on the left behind the wheelchair space.

A musician friend once explained to me that there are different sorts of goodbye you can deploy after a gig.

There’s the New York goodbye, where you zip round the band, backslap the other musicians, tell them they did great, and then make a run for it: 20 seconds.

There’s the London goodbye, where you spend time with each band member, reminisce about the best solos and interactions in the set, discuss upcoming gigs and indulge in a bit of light gossip: 8 minutes.

Well, there must be a Beijing goodbye. Across from me on the 12, a short-haired Chinese lady in a long-sleeved, grey London 2012 t-shirt said goodbye to someone on her mobile phone for fifteen minutes. Every time she said the word, there was a pause and then another flurry of chat. For fully the last three minutes of her call she literally just repeated the word ‘goodbye’ over and over again. She had a persistent conversation partner!

Looking forward to experiencing the Rio goodbye in a few years’ time. Maybe it will take song form?


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