Walking around in the Old Spitalfields market on a very cold Sunday, the world seemed to converge in small stalls. Beads as though strung all the way from Goa made shiny appearances, and a doormat with Che Guevara’s iconic-Mickey Mousish face. For 8 quid, you could step over the revolution and rub your shoes into the red of the mat and his empty face.
From one end, I spotted the familiar momo. Steamed Tibetan love sharing marketspace with Chinese paper lanterns. Dragons kissing the mincepies. How is it that this space which is otherwise sanitized with investment bankers, black coats and sushi becomes a wild field of lust-kissed wares and thump of Latino beat? My hand waves over the music collection. Jazz from the East Coast of the US lifting the fog off London’s East End.
Outside, you are drawn by the music of the Holloway Brothers. In the medlee of crowds and colours, you sink into the moment and kill the cold. Post-punk, neo-modern, rave-lost souls make their way through the narrow ways and sample world cuisine. A little kid bundled in pink dives into a sea of lambskin pieces. This London – where does it come from. Where does it go on weekdays? Where do they hide their corduroys? The cold. The biting cold, and snaps its teeth on the edge of your fingers and grabs your neck. You know how it is – You are riding a bike, and the cold of the wind dashes into your eyes and squeezes some water out. Just like that. Watery eyes and the thrill of an open road. Or in this case, a huge marketplace. You don’t have to buy. But I’ve got to touch everything. Feel that jacket, touch the ridge of the CD, pull that poster and breathe over the fog of quids exchanging hands.