From PK@..: 26 June 2003
This won't make money but if it inspires you to take pictures
let me know.
Outside Stockwell station, in a gap between the
Costcutter store and the low outer wall of a small housing project,
platform of wooden crates. Everyday an Iranian man and woman
travel to Stockwell,
in south London, from Shepherd’s Bush in the west, and
set up shop there. Batteries, small synthetic rugs, prayer mats
toothpaste decorate the makeshift stall.
When it rains they cover all of their goods with a plastic
sheet, protecting the bunnies and other cuddly toys. When it
washes the deposits of
midnight drunks away. Some days the man attends the stall on his own, on
others it’s the woman, who is quite skinny and wears a
headscarf lightly tugged under her chin. Often she sits on a
piece of cardboard on the pavement or stands
reading Headway, an English language textbook.
The other day I walked past them. It was a bleach bright day
and while the woman was reading the husband was rolled up like
a hotdog, asleep on the crates. He is a short man, bald at the
top with a moustache and graying hair.
“There are lots of Iranians in Stockwell,” he says, “They
walk past everyday, hear the music and stop by.” It is the
asylum seekers who live in nearby bed and breakfasts he refers
to. Persian pop music playing on the couple’s portable
cassette player turns their heads.
Today I saw the man mulling over a passage he’d written
in Persian on a chunk of cardboard. I wondered what it was he
was reading -- poetry or a grocery list?