The Westend waiters prowl around, ominously, menacingly. The Café Westend, and the WSK, and Manhattan, have become part of my life more than anywhere in London. I have nowhere in London that means anything to me (certainly since the final closure of the Flying Scotsman). I could stay in the Café Westend forever.
You know I always complain bitterly in London, f–king traffic lights every 50 yards; f–king stupid; but in Brussels you see the reality of what a lack of traffic lights is like, and it is a mind-blowing sight. I am actually in shock that in all these years of coming to Brussels I have NEVER seen a traffic accident—cars, bikes or pedestrians.
I feel like Greece, lurching from one payment deadline to the next, and it always looks like I will not be able to make the payment, but somehow I just about manage it. If I didn’t travel I could slowly return to financial well-being, but without travel I don’t see any point to life. Why is sitting in a Brussels bar staring out the window so much better than sitting in a London bar staring out the window? I don’t know, but it is. If Soho hadn’t been wiped out, Astral Cinema, Carnival Strip, Sunset Cinema, in particular, maybe I would not need to travel; but if Soho is dead then I must travel for those kind of jollies. Almost 2 o’clock already; I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere. 2 o’clock now and I think I’m getting to the point now where I think I will NOT be going anywhere–I was planning on going up to Gare du Nord and checking out the windows again and this time the porn kinos up there; but I don’t think I will bother going all that way now. I wish I could stay in Brussels forever; so close to home, a wonderful suspension, and always the possibility of naughtiness if you want it (I haven’t on this trip) (but it makes you feel so relaxed to know that there are whores available if you want them).
I am scathing and bitter about how awful the strip clubs and strip pubs of London now are, but I suppose for someone coming from western Europe it is a real thrill to see so much striptease where the girls take everything off; in the few strip clubs I have found in Brussels, Munich, Vienna and Berlin the knickers never come off, at best will be pulled down just below bottom cheeks for a split second before the music stops and they quickly pull them back up and step off stage. It is one of the specialties of London that we still have full nudity striptease. Strange that London and England of all places should be more liberal in this regard!
Yes travelling gives me massive debts, but it is also gives me massive rich memories and experiences. How happy I feel in Vienna and Berlin and Brussels. Well, most of the time I feel morose and depressed, but I luxuriate in my moroseness and depression there, and wallow in it till it becomes pleasurable. In London it’s just depressing. I resolve to visit one site of literary or historical importance in London every week. Can I then unlock the fly from the amber in London? Release the woolly mammoth from the ice in London? Bring London back to life?
It is crazy but in London I just work to earn the money so I can get back to my favourite bar in Brussels, and my favourite bar in Munich, and my favourite bar in Berlin, and my favourite bar in Vienna.