“We’re stuck on the stones”, says the little girl, “I’m going to be late for school”.
Stuck we are, jumbled in a long cylinder with hundreds of humans, crunching peanuts to a backing of tinny iPods and Donkey Kongs, in Ebbsfleet. Ebbsfleet is a stop in the grey expanse of industry, freshly-laid rails and shingle that comes between London and the Channel Tunnel.
“No hitting”, her mother says, “no hitting. No hitting. NO HITTING.”
The English guard makes announcements and repeats them in bad French: there’s been an incident that requires police attention; the police are searching 3 carriages, please cooperate, accept our apologies.
The little girl makes a sound very similar to Zack De La Rocha at his angriest, and the French girl across from me won’t catch my eye.
Billy’s already snapping everything, which sounds more violent than it is. I like travelling with a photographer; it makes your eyes different. Billy notices light and angles and composition in everything, even Ebbsfleet, where we’ve so far spent 40 minutes stock still.
An Asian man on the platform explains something to 3 policemen, with rational gestures. They nod and nod, and the man gets back on the train. Ten minutes later, the stock rolls, and we’re off. Crisis averted (says a man), everyone safe (says a woman), and late for our connections (says us).
It’s not unPlanned , it’s unPlaned. Right?
We plunge into a hole under the sea, and the windows go dark.
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ABove: Reading the paper to pass the time, in Ebbsfleet.