I wish I had a pound

One early morning at King’s Cross, on a cold and sunny day, I was pacing outside the station in a never-ending wait. A cup of hot coffee in one hand and a smoke in the other – Ed was goddamn late and I was freezing my ass out there.

There were not many people around except for me, few commuters, some guys who were setting up stands to serve food, and obviously a few bums begging for spare change. I didn’t really count how many of them were roaming about but I’m sure I must have engaged with them all. 

They started approaching me one after the other and it took me a good few mins each to understand any of the words they were trying to speak – a drunk bum’s English mumbling is not the easiest to get.

I’m sorry, I wish I had a pound.

I always feel sorry for these people – abandoned to their fates and constrained to a stunted life. They, who bravely live and survive winters in a daily search for food and, potentially, some sweet booze to warm them up and maybe help them forget some sad past story.

I remember I used to know one in my area: he was Italian, in his late 30s. He had moved to London in the mid-90s and had found his fortune working in the IT field. Unfortunately, he was too young to keep control over the unlimited resources London had given him and squandered his fortunes to his very last pound. According to his story, the government had also turned their backs on him, and his family, well, probably he didn’t even have one.

So every time I see one of them, I always recall that guy – I search my pockets for a pound and feel so guilty if I can’t find any.

I’m sorry, I wish I had a … 

Hang on a moment.

When I first came over, I didn’t even have the shadow of a pound. I lacked the language proficiency, the skills, the being comfortable in a new and different country, in a so big and alienating city. I, and so many other people just like me, had to find my way in: I started out washing dishes in a Moroccan restaurant at 2 quid an hour. No help, no support, nobody to speak with. I really didn’t have a pound.

Yet I made it. I worked my ass hard to a wealthy(ish) life. It cost a lot of effort and sacrifice, pain and sadness, desperation and, often, fear.

Other than me, these people were born here, they speak the language, they live in their own country. They were born with a least a pound, if not their own, one or two from the passers-by.

So I am sorry: every time I search my pockets, I myself wish I had had a pound.

Jim
The Britalian Post

A woman

A woman is a fierce example of how a human being can champion bravery, fatigue and pain. A woman who is strong, patient and powerful is more than ordinary.

A woman is thoughtful, much smarter and sharper than any other human being. For a woman, overthinking, processing information, seeing through and deep understanding is more than ordinary.

A woman feels things long before they happen. She carries the burden of being so sensitive and sensible to reality. She carries the burden of her being a woman hitting hard on her body every month. And it’s more than ordinary.

A woman needs to accept that this is the way it is.

A woman cries openly, and publicly, because she needs to suffocate all the tears she drops privately. And she hides, and she fights. And nobody ever knows that this is more than ordinary.

A woman loves, because for a woman, love dramatically pulses from the inside and cracks her mood. And she can still smile. And she can still love. And her love is more than ordinary.

A woman is unique. And she is extraordinary.

And that woman is the one I call mum.

Happy International Women’s Day!!!

Jim
The Britalian Post

White trainers not allowed

In view of the trip to York to attend the Jorvik Viking Festival with Ed, I thought I would buy a comfortable new pair of trainers to walk about town. As soon as I entered Sports Direct, I found a very convenient deal on this pair of white Everlast trainers – 50% off. Great! Fit well, look good – I handed over £25 without hesitation.

Upon arrival in York, we made our way downtown, which gave me the opportunity to test the performance of my new shoes. Also, they were really cool and looked damn stylish under my black pants. You know, when you believe you’ve found the right match, you feel so a la mode that you start hitting the street like a badass. And that’s exactly what I did.

In the evening, we started exploring the nightlife moving from a bar to another, drinking our way into the night and checking the local fauna. Yes, girls.
Two well-dressed chicks approached us for scrounging a smoke and suggested that we should join them in this exclusive club called The Biltmore. After they gave me a few compliments, comparing my appearance to a someone I don’t know who the hell it is (the York accent sounds like cavemen’s), Ed was addressed as Tommy Shelby from the show Peaky Blinders (do watch it if you haven’t) and was asked to put on his Birmingham accent over and over again. Although the awkward moment, we decided to go check out this place.

On the spot, we started peeking at the inside from the opposite sidewalk to make certain that there was something good going on in there. Yes, once again, girls.
We both felt very cool: Ed with his newly acquired popularity, me with my great outfit. So, I mean, we bowled up to the entrance like we owned the place. 

Unfortunately, the bouncer stopped us immediately: “Sorry, white trainers are not allowed in here.”

“What?! This is the most stupid rule I’ve ever heard!” – I cried out.
Ed wasn’t too bothered, well, not as much as I fucking was. He made a smirky laugh and suggested that we’d go to Valhalla, a typical Viking bar just a few streets away. We made acquaintances with these two amusing ladies: one in her late forties, the other in her mid-thirties; the former being completely plastered!
*Between her slurred attempts at flirting through an acrid, bitter breath, I suddenly noticed that her glass was swaying uncomfortably in my direction. Before I knew it, my prized new trainers became stained with the memory of her.* She poured a whole pint of stout over my freaking new shoes that quickly absorbed the liquid and turned into a light brown tone. The shining white was totally gone. Fucking bitch!

*[Ed wrote this bit himself. I mean, he’s co-starring in the story, so I have to give him some credit. :D]

There. Since my trainers were no longer white, it was worth taking another shot back at the club. Though, for your information, we didn’t get any closer.

The truth is, appearances always matter.
Whether you’re smart, deep, interesting, trustworthy people, or just wanna spend a great weekend with your bud, the way you speak, the words you use, the way you act, the way you move, the clothes you wear, will always come first. So if you wish to be accepted among people – people who “matter” – just erase what you’ve always believed in, re-build your personality or whoever you’ve been all along, wear some glossy outfit, be a yes-man, and you’ll get everywhere. In one sentence: follow the rule.  

And remember: don’t wear fucking white trainers!

Jim
The Britalian Post

It’s not gonna be a bad day

Monday sucks big fat donkey balls, dude!

Come on, don’t be so dramatic! It’s not gonna be a bad day.

That pinch of negativity at the beginning of the week is a common feeling for everybody.
But, easy, not every Monday is a bad day. 

Last Monday, I’m sure I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed; in fact, I didn’t wake up at all. So not only was I late at work but neither was able to do any workout which fucked up my weekly schedule.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day. 

If only it hadn’t taken me a half goddamn hour to catch the first bus and another half to get on the first train. I did say I was already fucking late, right?
At the building where I work, you need to swipe your personal pass to access the gates. An easy action, if only I hadn’t tried to swipe my Oyster card instead (the card for transports, for whoever doesn’t know) when I suddenly realised I had forgotten my pass at home.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

As soon as I started my laptop, it froze for 15 mins and when it came back to life, the internet didn’t work. Not a big deal, so I had time to go for a cup of tea. And while I was pouring hot water from the machine, the mug slipped from my hands and I spilt a terrible amount of deadly hot water directly on my thin trousers. Needless to say, I started dancing Disco Inferno to overcome the pain. 

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

At lunchtime, we were off to a nearby restaurant with the whole team for celebrations. I ordered a simple chicken salad to stay light and when the waiter came with the dish – oh I was really starving – he accidentally hit my chair’s legs and knocked over the whole salad on me. Getting another one took another half and the team had already finished.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day.

I was off at 6pm, tremendously tired, and headed to the station willing to get back home as soon as possible. The train came rapidly this time, if only it hadn’t taken 40 mins to make 3 stops due to a signal failure. No panic, I eventually reached my stop and waited for the connecting bus. It came in a min sharp but, for some strange reason, it decided not to stop, even though I was flailing like a maniac. Now, you know that thing that sometimes happens in movies and cartoons? I can assure you it hadn’t even rained – the bus wheel plunged at the speed of light in a black puddle and I took a wonderfully disgusting shower.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad day. And I’m almost home.

To recover from this intense day, I decided I would treat myself to a giant pizza and some TV series. Oh, the relief when I finally sat on the couch.
So since a few days before, while on the way back home, I saw this big Domino pizza shop and, as many people have always praised it for making a really good pizza, I started wondering what it would taste like. Thus, instead of ordering delivery from the Neapolitan pizzeria I usually get pizza from, I thought I would give Domino a chance. I mean, shame on me for getting such a pizza (I’m Neapolitan for fuck’s sake), but I pride myself on being quite open-minded.
The delivery was quick. The rider said I owed him £4 more, which I was sure I had paid already online, but I was really starving to death so I just gave him the money. When I got back inside, I checked and guess what? I had already paid the full amount. Fuck!
Ok, never mind, let’s just chill out and dig into this pizza.
So I opened the box and…and…”what the fuck is that? Why is there fucking pineapple on my pizza???” A ‘simple’ mistake in the order.

But, easy, it’s not gonna be a bad… 

&$!#%5¡¶@
MONDAY SUCKS BIG FAT DONKEY BAAAAAAALLS!

Jim
The Britalian Post

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.

The day when love’s in the air. The day when heart-shaped decorations are hanging pretty everywhere. The day when themed chocolate and treats of all sorts stack up at each main joint of the city.

The day when boys and girls hold hands, exchange flowers and sweet presents. The day when restaurants are packed and couples eat fancy gourmet food. The day when men miserably run out of money to impress. The day when being romantic is rather fair.

The day everybody thinks it’s commercial but they end up celebrating it anyway.

The day you yourself think it’s commercial but you wouldn’t mind opening the door and finding the person you love. Just like you do every day but today more than others.

The day when you get back home and sit alone – and it’s just another day.

But then my cuz knocks on the door holding a bottle of red wine.

And it’s again Valentine’s Day.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Resolutions

Have you drawn your list of resolutions for the New Year yet? More importantly, how many items on that list have you started yet?

January has come (to an end). The New Year has come. And so have a number of resolutions, right? It’s always something about “I’m going to work on my career”, “I’m going to start a new hobby”, “I’m going to be a better person.” The more common: “I’m going to start a strict diet.” So you see everybody digging into soups, raw veggies, fruit; no more fats, gluten, chocolate or alcohol. You see them exercising, going to the gym regularly and cooking plain chicken breasts – which, if you buy at Sainsbury’s, I’m not sure of how much of real chicken is contained in those super pumped fillets. Well, better that crap than KFC, Mc Donald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and…hey how about a beer at the pub and a double pepperoni with cheese-stuffed crust tonight?! Come on, we’re allowed dietary fails now and then, do you really want to be that strict?

One certainly has to be allowed dietary fails now and then, and there’s always going to be one thing, one weakness you can’t just give up, like a free day diving in chocolate. But for some strange reason, one has to be really strict with diet, as well as with any other resolution.

[Wow you should’ve seen the heroic sprint of the sixty-ish-year-old man who’s just literally thrown himself through the tube’s closing doors. I assume his resolution would be something like “I’ll no longer fucking miss a train.” Sure, welcome to London!]

All you have to do is to be firm and resolute; ask yourself, how seriously do I want to pursue it? How committed am I to win over my hunger raptus? 

Despite the nature of the resolution you choose to pursue, one has to simply be strong enough to say “No.”

Do you want a piece of chocolate? No!
Do you want pasta? No!
Do you want to go get a burger? No!
Do you want a beer? No!

Do you want to go out with me? No!

See, practically a resolution is some sort of desire that one decides to give up.
And the more you’re into giving up what you like, the more stubborn you become and, somehow, capable of predicting the consequences of your actions. So the resolution itself ends up turning into some future prediction, a set of “I will” or “I won’t” statements that draw a clear path to your personal success. And among the great number of “will’s” or “won’t’s”, even a normal person can become a prophet of truths.

That Russian girl was so good at it. A seer indeed. What was her name? Something like Tamara or Erika, I’m guessing. A lonesome and sporty girl, fit and good looking. An innocent face, a breathtaking smile. She would mostly be hiding in her room – afraid of the outside – but when she popped up, she certainly couldn’t pass unobserved.
On one day, she decided to turn up and their looks immediately crossed. Bam!
Few hours on a Sunday lunch with friends and they would find an intense but fuzzy connection. Both mentally and physically. A thunderbolt – a perfect match that didn’t come from Tinder, Bumble, Happn, or any other of the dating apps. Which basically was what she wanted: something real, not based on some pervert online chatting. Something that could last or, at least, be worth the moment. This was her resolution. In fact, one amongst the many. 

From the very beginning, she would be capable of predicting that the situation wouldn’t go the long way; that the moment couldn’t be lasting more than just a moment, that her path to success could be compromised and…you’re too late, pal! She had set her own resolutions. She was already saying “No” to most things, and you fall right in between. And the more she was saying “No”, the more stubborn she was becoming, the more capable of predicting the consequences.

Although, she had only one weakness, one thing she couldn’t easily give up: chocolate.

And in that very moment, while he was holding her tight, firmly looking into her eyes, sliding his finger over her cheek, gently, she realised she had run out of it…

…kiss me.

Jim
The Britalian Post

The apology

“Oh, I’m sorry!”

If you’ve ever been in the UK, you’ve heard this word innumerable times.

Every time people do something, say, inappropriate – like unintentionally bumping into someone while walking, asking to quickly move aside, opening a door when one is coming through, doesn’t matter what it is – the word ‘Sorry’ will be always echoing sharp.

It must be a sort of a local habit type of thing, that kind of politeness that mainly expresses fake and uninterested platitudes rather than truly kind intentions. That is, people don’t really mean it. It will always be a mean ploy, a shitty apology to veil a repellent so-what attitude. It’s a lie!

But then though, you figure it’s not a cultural thing at all; and it should be clear by now that I’m not referring to Britons or their manners. As all people just act alike. All people can build a rather good apology to beautify their lies – the truths they seek to convince themselves with in the first place.

A lie.
She who manically dancing and partying for her birthday – her infinite beauty that hits so damn hard on everybody. The night is feisty, and so is she. Given so, she keeps quaffing alcohol rashly, sticking her deadly lips deep in bottle tops – just to feel happy, to kill that loneliness, that emptiness somebody dug in her. To feel like feeling nothing, to stiffen those muscles that cause emotional pain: love.
She gets lost in all that, she lets herself go on the dancefloor, she abandons her cause the same way it abandoned her. She embraces that positive vibe and goes down pretty hard. 

She rubs against many, and then against him – modelling her body on his shapes, adapting her curves to his lust. And he doesn’t miss the chance; he knows it’s the right time to take advantage of her.

She turns, they kiss – arousal, she feels it.

Everybody though turns the other way. Nobody wants to watch. Nobody wants to be carrying the burden of what they see happening. Nobody wants to have to lie.

But then though, as soon as she regains control, she starts draining alcohol through her thick tears. She runs away – she knows that it was a mistake. She dashes into her friend’s arms. Shuttered. Crying. 

Now she has to lie. Quickly.

She gains compassion. Empathy.
“Poor little thing. She only wanted to forget him, to go over and start over. She was just in pain. She didn’t mean to let herself go. She was just in love.” 

And she with a trembling voice, “It’s because I love him and he just rejects me! It’s his fault damn it! He made me want to do it. He dragged me into that. I didn’t mean to… Sorry! Oh, I’m sorry!”

You know. Every time people do something, say, inappropriate, the word Sorry will be always echoing sharp.

Bitch.

Jim
The Britalian Post

Do you see me?

Hey there!

I’m pleased to write this appreciation article to thank you all for reading and following The Britalian Post. If I read the metrics correctly, there have been over 2,000 views and more than 900 visitors since the very beginning. And this is awesome!

I’m kind of feeling like I’m becoming a proper blogger, like the ones who are so witty when sharing fair opinions and astonishing facts, and can have a wide reach with the audience. I’m feeling like I’m kind of popular, like I have people valuing my words – all that I present, all that I tell. I’m feeling like I can freely start chatting and many will be carefully and passionately listening. I’m feeling like I’m getting lots of e-friends I can share shit with. 

It’s like my stories are brought to life and the characters are becoming real. I can see them turning into a human shape, I can see their flesh, their movements, their expressions, their attitude, and I’m so proud I didn’t have to do anything else but writing. Damn it was that easy!

I’ve got company now. I’ve got smiles and pats on my back. I’ve got someone who pays me a visit, someone I can truly rely on.

Among many others, I start waving at them, calling their names, pointing to their direction:

‘Hey! Hey there! I’m here, do you see me?
Hey, hey do you see me?
Do…you…see…me?
Do…you…e…me?
…you…e…me?

…e-me.’

Jim
The Britalian Post

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