I am sitting at the Costa on Green Lanes in North London, drinking a flat white, an Australian import. It was made for me by a Slovakian woman and sold to me by her compatriot, a polite young woman with weary eyes. I am waiting while my daughter practices her character-writing in Chinese school. Around me Turkish men sit in groups of two and three, drinking small Americanos. Next to me, an Asian couple sip cappuccinos while their young girl, 7 or 8 years old, writes studiously in a notebook.
Outside patrolling is a car park attendant, his Taleban-chic beard skimming his fluorescent jacket. An African woman has just walked by in her Saturday best, a traditional dress and headscarf in gloriously shocking pink.
My husband is at home with my son waiting for the Indian man to arrive who will give our budgies a nicer home in his aviary in Kent. Later my son will play with his friend whose mother is French. My daughter will no doubt play with her friend whose father is Danish.
Tonight we might go out to our favorite and cheap Vietnamese restaurant.
This is London.
photo by maistora (flickr)