One lunch time I went to the bank to deposit a cheque. This was in about the year 2006 when I was still working in Soho, London. The queue was very long and it progressed painfully slowly. The bank was short-staffed as is typical of many banks in London. As I moved slowly along the queue I noticed that there were about three packets of shiny things on the floor right under one of counters. I became very curious. I quickly identified the packets as condoms. I spent a few seconds wondering how they might have got onto the floor, but as my mind was occupied by that thought I noticed something much more interesting.
I noticed that although the condoms were positioned on the queuing customers’ passage none of the passengers made any attempt to pick them up or even talk about them. More interesting was the way that all the ten or so people who had to pass over them behaved; they took log steps to avoid them. They obviously noticed the condoms, but they would not get involved in anything to do with them. I attribute this to the London Syndrome: IT’S NOTHING TO DO WITH ME…so I won’t bother. I will return to the syndrome in a moment. Eventually it was my turn to confront the condoms. I stepped up to the lady at the counter and gently said to her “Are you aware that there are condoms on the floor?” She looked at me as if I was barking mad, but when she realised that I was not joking she informed another bank employee to pick them up. Suddenly the atmosphere at the bank changed. We all started talking. The bank lady offered them to me, but I politely declined and informed her that I was a dateless dude 😉 However, I felt good because we all started talking like human beings instead of keeping to ourselves. So I thank the person who dropped the condoms although later on they might have had trouble making out 😉
I guess that had I not said anything the condoms would have been there until someone from the bank noticed them. I just feel that London people can be very sad sometimes. Many London people will not get involved in anything that might be a little inconvenience to their own lives. You could get mugged and most people would turn a blind eye. A lady could be assaulted by a man in front of passengers in a bus and the other passengers would simply turn a blind eye. What a sad city! I come from Swaziland and in Swaziland we look out for each other. No one is allowed to do any stupid thing in public and expect to get away with it. Maybe London people could learn from that. They say that when good men stand by and do nothing chaos prevails. Please let’s all stop this London Syndrome and build a better city!