I was on a 381 bus around 12.25 p.m. today, en route from Rotherhithe, to meet my wife at Hays Galleria for lunch.
There were two French women sitting behind me, and when the bus stopped at the Boss St. stop, corner of Tooley and TBR, the two women said to the young woman driver, “La Tour?”
She looked at them blankly, so I said, “Cherchez vous Le Pont de la Tour restaurant, ou La Tour de Londres?”
(Are you looking for Le Pont, restaurant, or the Tower of London?”)
They said, “La Tour de Londres.”
I pointed toward the bridge, saying, “Cette direction”, and said to the driver, “They want the Tower.”
She said “Too late now”, and stroked the accelerator.
The next stop was suspended, so we went all the way to London Bridge station.
They got off, as I did, they looked at me bewildered, all I could do was point them back toward TBR, and shrug, “Desolée.”
What an irreplaceable loss it was to we indigenous Londoners, and tourists alike, when Tom parked his Black Cab up for the last time.
Not only someone who could take you from The Elephant to Olympia with his eyes shut, but still willing and able to help tourists now that he’s retired, in their own language yet.
Will London ever see his like again?
Just kidding Tom, I love you really.
They could have picked it up opposite the old site of London Dungeon, by London Bridge Hospital. Allez tout droit...or something.
It does remind me of a time I was in the now deceased St John's Tavern, a family of tourists waked in and ordered a drink and enquired about the food, "does it come with chips?" the reply from the barmaid was "dunno" and off she toddled.