“Next train to London Paddington leaving in twelve minutes” screeched the un-suspecting train driver with his head poked out the window, bringing back vivid memories of numerous black and white classic train based movies. I stood for a second and wondered if I had enough time to get myself a crisp cold diet coke and a snickers bar or two depending on the length of the train journey ahead. My palate was saturated at the thought of it. Reluctantly, after wasting vital moments pondering, I marched through the foggy town of Windsor to the closest shop which was apparently “just down the road”. This was according to the confused looking man in the information box who I might add did not provide me with the necessary information, ironic considering his title. The shop ‘food and wine’ did not live up to expectations, the only actual food  in store was a  clutch of a dozen or so chocolate bars in a bucket that by the looks of it was previously used to house a mop. Possibly even a puke bucket, for the obviously alcoholic shop assistant who was pouring himself an oversized shot glass of his finest 60 % glens vodka. He had quite possibly helped himself to all the wine in his rented store .After catching the shop assistant out as he sneakily attempted to overcharge me fifty pence on the snickers bar I rescued from said bucket, I swiftly made my way back on to the train almost missing it, with a wafting sweaty back that was impossible to hide from the other commuters. This resulted in looks of faintly veiled disapproval from people two carriages on either end. I felt almost like a homeless man who had just dragged in a putrid ambience. Oh! it has never felt so good to be sitting on this chair drenched in the sweat of others who like me, time management and fitness are not their strong points.

Just as I commenced my customary 40 winks a smell awoke me, this was certainly not like anything I had smelt before but I didn’t allow myself to discover what this smell was. Straight away, I marched my way three cabins down in disgust still receiving similar looks to the one I had now, almost like I was the cause of the stench. Like a dog seeking a place to sleep I ambled up and down the narrow juddering isle searching for the most comfortable looking set of seats for me to adopt a reclining position. Unfortunately for me, many others appeared to have the same idea. So, instead I had to squeeze my ambling 6 foot self between two seats undoubtedly made for a small dwarf. Ignoring the fact that I was not comfortable in the slightest I allowed the constant soothing thumping of the train tracks beneath to slowly lull me to sleep like a nursery rhyme. The bright light crackling through the frosty window kept jarring me waking as it trickled through the feeble trees that were incapable of providing some shade. The view out the train window was beautiful from what I could tell through my semi-shut left eye. Curious to observe the view properly, I cracked open both eyes completely like an enlightened Hindu. We were now at Sunningdale. A place I had never been before. I predicted there was approximately around 40 minutes left of the journey and I was In no particular rush to get to Westfield’s, I spontaneously ejected myself out the moving train doors, it was now time to explore before the next train came in thirty minutes.

Seeing as I had not had time to drink my refreshing diet coke that was annoyingly wet and swaying against my leg. I took it out my bag hoping it would provide me some energy for the adventure ahead. Drink in hand like a smug business man with an overpriced Starbuck coffee and bargain polyester excuse of a suit, I found myself walking towards a park called North forest. I daresay i haven’t been to may forests but from what I knew it didn’t quite look like a forest to me. Oblivious of to what was ahead; I entered the park slowly almost as if I was expecting to find Narnia behind the large black wardrobe shaped gate. I spied a bench across the marshy looking field, my legs were astonishingly already tired, so ignoring the fact that my new air force 1’s would be ruined

 after this intrepid move, I walked toward the bench. Well, tiptoed, as I approached it, I touched it to make sure it wasn’t a mirage. Mirage it was not, but it was cold and hard and no doubt may cause splinters if I was to make any horizontal movements along it. This better suited the title of a stuffed hedgehog rather than a bench. A bench my belief is a piece of furniture to provide comfortable seating, but judging by the amount of splinters stuck in my backside and my half-hearted sitting attempt prevent numbing, this did not fit its description at all. Disgusted with this evident carpentry flaw, I downed my coke fiercely and remembered the fraudulent shop owner I met earlier. I crushed the can in my hand and purposely flung it on the floor next to the bin In anger just to create for someone somewhere at some time a similar inconvenience. Then after contributing to global warming, the apparent cause of the end of the world in 2010, still alive and not globally warmed in the slightest, I swiftly made my way back towards the train station. Sunningdale in my opinion was not a place worth exploring.

The next hour was a blur, possibly caused by a mixture of anger, guilt, lethargy and the fact that I was fast asleep for the duration of the train journey. My mood changed as soon as I swiped my oyster card across the sun yellow card scanner. As the gates opened, I felt like a king, the looks of repulsion where rightfully transferred back towards the smelly real homeless man. My zeal was shining off me. I looked around ostentatiously at the other folks disregarding the fact that they had all used exactly the same method of entry to the new world as me. I could taste the fresh crisp ice enclosed air grazing on my tongue, it had the same texture as the diet coke I had guzzled an hour ago  but it was obvious that too much of this would be even worse for one’s health than coke apparently is. I rapidly scanned the map ahead of me trying not to create a bottleneck down the narrow corridor. I noticed that I had to take the northern line then change at Bakerloo Street for the Bakerloo line.  It was rush hour and I was reluctant to be freakishly close to a man or even a woman (irrespective of how attractive she might be) who was a stranger to me. Even being this close to a friend for this length of time would not be idyllic. Seeing as I was not wishing to smell the aftershave or lack of it on a fat sweaty man, I squeezed my iPhone out the constricted pockets of my Calvin Kleins. I opened up my new maps app I bought for a mere fifty-nine pence and typed in my destination. It told me it was half a mile away, seeing as geography was never my strong point, I naively assumed that it was walking distance, little did I know that walking distance was not a universal measurement.  So, before I had time to change my mind I marched towards the door, stood there for a second , Iphone in one hand and snickers bar in the other like a man on a mission. Then, after forging my way through a herd of oblivious and excitable tourists, I cautiously observed the behind of the woman who I my opinion winked at me, the walk began.

Joseph Aina