He got off the tram at a park which would not have been out of place in London: emerald grass dappled with the shadows of plane and elm-trees; those overly neat flower-beds beloved of park administrators everywhere; tarmac paths; wooden park benches; statues of the once great and mighty. He saw that the park had once had railings, just like a London Park, but only the holes in the stone plinth surrounding the park were left. He sat on a bench and watched the people go by, and thought. He tried not to think too hard, because nothing from the past he could think back on could bring him peace. And the future was too unsettled for him to think about that. Love; and Death; and Loss; and Sorrow. These were all forbidden subjects.
A woman, wearing an Islamic headscarf, baggy trousers like a pasha's, and the most exquisite embroidered slippers thickly decorated with sequins and pieces of coloured glass, tripped past, one child in a pushchair and the other tottering along behind her trying to keep up. A genial old man wearing baggy shorts and a weathered polo shirt, trailed by a Fox Terrier just like Bolt, ambled past in a sort of relaxed jog. Some young men, of various ethnicities, were playing soccer in a patch of brilliant green lawn, glowing from the sunlight. Monday morning. Free. Perfect.