London keeps astonishing. Besides the fact that I’m seeing sun an awful lot since I’ve been here, I’m also acutely aware that people tend to smile at me more than I expected. It’s often said in London that no-one smiles at you on the Tube or in the street. I haven’t experienced that at all. People smile at me all the time. Now of course, there’s always the possibiity that they are laughing at that wacky Aussie who never goes anywhere without one of her hats, and who tends to peak out from under the brim with a sense of whimsy, but I’m hopeful that it is because people are nicer than you are generally led to believe.
I’m also conscious of the fact that my tendency to match my outfits is so out of place that it warrants as a topic of conversation. A typical ex-Melbourne geek, I do have a habit of dressing all in black. By wearing a black suit with a black top and covering that with a black coat, and accessorising with a black hat, scarf and gloves, I am apparently a subject of great mystery in London. (This may well be why people are smiling.) But the same happens when I wear my creamy white jacket, scarf, hat and gloves, and when I wear my red jacket and red/black accessories. The usual comment I get in the street is something along the lines of… “Now don’t you look…..?”, followed by a longish pause. I tend to jump in and offer, “Colour coordinated?” Laughter ensues. I’ve noticed most people tend to contrast their hats with their jackets. I do have a pink hat I wear with the black jacket, but then I wear a pink scarf and carry a pink satchel. Either way, it still coordinates. Perhaps it is also because I tend to wear suits and am out in the street during office hours that this is worthy of commentary, but I do find it a little weird. I certainly never received the same response in Brisbane or in Melbourne, and I was just as coordinating there, though it’s true it was less common for me to wear a hat.
Maybe it’s just the matching hat. 🙂