Thursday, 26 June 2008


F.Scott Fitzgerald was in awe of the rich. When he told his friend Earnest Hemmingway ‘the rich are not like you and I’ Hemmingway's response was a bit less deferential; ‘no – they have more money’.

I took a bus ride down the Kings Road this afternoon, primarily to visit Warrs Harley Davidson, but it was also an opportunity to observe the rich in their natural habitat.

At Sloane Square a couple of bright young things got on and surrounded me as I sat in the rear corner seat. Very blonde, ridiculously tall, painfully thin and wearing strappy dresses and huge sunglasses on their heads. They were models on their way to a casting. One of them had eaten a Cornish Pasty yesterday and was worried that it would give her spots. The other one had moved to London without any clothes because she had previously lived on a farm and so had nothing suitable to wear. Her boyfriend had brought all her current clothes. He loved doing so. He was on his gap year. I know all this, along with the rest of the bus, because they spoke, to each other and on their mobile phones. Loudly. They spoke with the accents of the very posh - clipped and slurred at the same time. Almost South African.

They got off and were replaced with an older woman. Elegantly dressed but also wearing huge sunglasses, and clutching a small dog. I think it was a dog but it could have been a ferret although that seems unlikely. She was not talkative but looked at me with an undisguised distaste that couldn’t have been greater if my space had been occupied by a steaming shit from her dog-like creature.

Then she got off and was replaced with a yummy-mummy and her infant brood. She was a ten years older version of the models. Wearing Birkenstocks and pushing some sort of all terrain pushchair. Her tossled haired brats also spoke loudly and with a lack of inhibition. They were asking which house they were going to at the weekend. They thought they spotted their previous au-pair walking along the pavement. Mummy pointed out that she had had to go back to Italy. Mummy explained about Italy – it was were they had gone all skiing last year.

At this point I had to get off and can’t report any more. But I’d heard enough. Fitzgerald was right. The rich are not like you and I.

And vice-versa. Thank fuck for that.

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