London Diary





I removed some of the bits and pieces of glass that were still sticking out in the frame, and then from the inside firmly nailed a piece of wood onto the door, to close the gap. But what to do next? Should I go to the police? Contact the landlord? Ask the neighbours whether they have seen or heard anything of what has been going on? That might be a good point to start, I decided, as well as an opportunity to finally meet them.

It must have been around seven that I went out to go and check whether any of them were in. I locked my provisionally repaired front door, and climbed the stairs to the pavement, unawares that I was walking straight up to the third surprise of the day... Evening had fallen, the street lights were on. As I closed the metal gate behind me, a man stepped out of the car - (- I remember observing that it was not a Peugeot !-) - parked in front of the house, smiling, holding an unlit cigarette. He walked up to me, asked something like "Hey, mate, you gotta light?", then, as I started searching my pockets for a box of matches he suddenly pushed me full force against the gate. "The parcel," he hissed, "Burovski's ... You got it! I want it!" Isn't it weird, how in such moments you can feel these myriads of little snippets of thought start racing through your head, though none of them seem able to cohere into something sensible to retort? I for one caught my breath and just stared at the guy, afraid and quite speechless, for what felt like many minutes (it probably was no more than a few seconds) until the spell was broken by a group of noisy tourists that appeared around the corner, shouting and laughing, and hurrying towards us. My attacker, temporarily distracted, loosened his grip, and I managed to push him off of me, and started running, running, running... as fast as my feet would carry me.