Sunday, November 01, 2015

Past, present and future on the Piccadilly Line

There were two girls on the tube this afternoon.

17 or 18 years old, I would guess. Sisters, I would hazard. They were both fully occupied with their iPhones, their heads presumably full of whatever is going through a teenager's mind when riding the tube. The standard modern scene.

The only thing that made it non-standard was they were both wearing the hijab plus black coats, ankle-length black skirts and black shoes. Not a lock of hair or a inch of wrist was visible.

It made me wonder whether their mother or grandmother would have dressed in the same way, regardless of whether they grew up overseas or in the UK. And assuming they hadn't, what was the journey that had resulted in their dressing that way in 2015?

It also made me reflect that what nobody bears in mind when trying to predict the future is the amount of the past it's bound to contain.


  1. The clothing says modesty, the permanent attachment to iPhones, probably not so. But we all spend our daily lives squaring circles. Don't we?

  2. About 8 years ago when I lived in London I was travelling on the bus from Ealing to Wembley as part of my morning commute. In the seats behind me was a group of girls aged 14/15 on their way to school. One of them was a Muslim. I know this because she was saying very loudly "I am a f**king Muslim and it's my right to wear what I want. If I want to wear a f**king veil I'll f**king wear one". Two things struck me:
    1. I'm certainly no expert in the teachings of Islam, but I reckon she hadn't been paying attention
    2. Her outburst had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with teenage rebellion and/or search for identity.

  3. Have you seen the way a hijab can hold a phone to the wearer's ear completely hands-free? It borders on genius.