Tottenham Station

Friday 25 January 2008

It strikes you anew tonight, that strange feeling when you get off the train, how it is that the platform you catch the train to work on and the platform you come home on are right next to each other, but the experience of traversing each side of the station feels so different as to be almost like being at two separate stations. It's got something to do with the different approaches, the different times, your different moods. But there's more to it than that. You just can't describe it.

Like the ticket vending machine, for example. It's the same machine, but depending on which station experience you're having, it not only looks different, but it feels different too. It has the same picture of Chewy the Lost Dog next to it, the same phone number to call if you've located the canine that went ballistic when the New Year's Eve fireworks sprang into life. But it feels so totally totally different. Is there a name for this feeling? You don't know.

You've been acutely conscious of this feeling for as long as you can remember. You like the slight disorientation when you compare your two train station experiences side by side. You discover trying to describe it that it's almost impossible to describe.

The only thing that feels and looks exactly the same no matter which way you approach the station are the container wagons that always sit on the north side of the station and never seem to move. They sit under banks of railyard lights strung overhead like tinsel. Row after row of lights strung across. You wonder why the railyards have to have such extremely high wattage. The lights look kinda festive. It doesn't matter which way you approach the station, or the time of day, those banks of lights look like party lights for seagulls.

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