At the Farmers' market in The Pantiles.
Spring, today, the voices of children in the street and in The Grove compete with the song of birds.
There are usually a few tourists in Tunbridge
Wells. You can tell them from far off. They have a particular gait. They walk slowly their weight wandering from side to side, as though they are not sure where they are going, or why.
Having been to England many times, how did I ever miss Tunbridge Wells? Not familiar with
your reference to "The Pantiles" (and how is this pronounced?) I googled the words and now I am REALLY sorry I've missed TW. If I ever get back,
Tunbridge Wells will be at the top of my list for places to visit. Thereby, also providing you with the opportunity of watching me walk, slowly, guidebook in hand not quite sure where I am going. ;-)
PS I have "visited" on Google Earth and even found The Grove!
The hip-hop gait of tourists is attributable to a conflict of thought: being tourists they are supposed to be enjoying and/or instructing themselves but they are constantly disappointed, coming up against a Tesco or a WH Smith instead of a fourteenth-century thatched residence that once housed Chaucer. They slow down, imagining they are missing important detail, and instead find discarded copies of The Sun and crushed Coke cans. In the back of their mind they torture themselves with the eternal tourist question: can one set out to enjoy oneself? Another element that affects the gait are thoughts about the next meal.
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