December 18, 2005

West End Adventures 

London's West and in particular Soho at night is a mess. And I mean a serious one: drunken crowds, nutcases of any description, pushers and junkies - the whole lot, you can easily imagine. It seems that my fellow metalheads are among the most tame: we may get drunk, but rarely cause trouble.

Last night I left this metal pub at 3am, and went to the cash machine opposite to get some money to pay for my taxi ride home. It was cold, and night buses are generally an unpleasant experience. While I was at the cash machine, a couple arrived and began having an argument. She was crying, and telling him to go away or something like that. He didn't, and at a certain point he grabbed her hair. That was too much, and so I told him to leave her alone. She darted off, while he replied that he's her husband and basically mind my own business. He also started to walk away, but I told him "Be aware, man".
He strode back and confronted me - and despite me having assumed a fighting stance, I was hit by a punch to my mouth, shit. But I did not go down - I barely flinched, and replied with a kick to his side - that did not get the target. Still, the guy did not attack me any more, and with a sightly less bellicose tone told me that she was in the wrong. Fair enough, but grabbing her hair steps out of the boundary, I think. Then, a road sweeper and two other passers-by become interested in our altercation, and the man walked away.

The punch did not really hurt, but what makes me pissed off at myself is that my karate training was happily swimming in a large pool of beer at that time. I was half drunk and sleepy at 3am, so my reflexes were at their most sluggish. But I think the determinant factor was that I didn't have much will to fight, I wasn't sharp and focused as required; adrenaline wasn't pumping as it should. And without the will, strength and skills aren't of much use. Anyway, I think I did the proper thing and I'd do it again - being more careful not to let my guard down tho.


God...memories of London...

I hope your mouth doesn't hurt too much. Next time you keep your guard up. :-)

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