Translator: Sarah McNally
From Canada, Sarah has been in Japan for almost 5 years. If you are interested in a Japanese to English translation, please feel free to contact her at

Sarah. 来日五年目のカナダ人。日本の高校では英語の教師して教壇に立つ一 方、日本語検定一級の資格も活かし翻訳も行う。問い合わせは上記アドレスへ。

After Word: Day 3
Near Euston station, there's a store where one can eat famous pasties. A pasty is a kind of pie. Trying one, it tasted like a croquette wrapped in pie crust. In the past pasties were the food of commoners, and were made popular by French immigrants in Cornwall. Husbands going out to do hard labour, for example coal miners, were given pasties rather than onigiri (rice balls) by their wives for lunch.
Here you'll find some personal notes I took during my trip.
I didn't really write this to be read by others, but you can take a look if you like. This is about what happened in London during the week or so I was there.
*Diary written between September and October of 2000

    The Accident Site

    Time's been flying, and it's already the third day of my trip.
    Looking straight out the window of the room I'm staying in, I can see the British Museum. What a perfect location.
    From September 30th, I plan to go to Manchester for a one night stay. I'll spend time with a friend I met in Japan who is now living in England, and stay at her house (or rather room). For that reason I moved ahead the plans I had made in Japan to visit Marc's grave in London on his birthday, the 30th.
    In the morning I decided to buy my ticket to Manchester, or actually to the stop before Manchester station, Stockport. If the train were to run properly, it would take about two and a half hours to get there. However, at least from a Japanese perspective, the English train system is quite hopeless, with a schedule that tends to get completely out of kilter pretty much daily. The station I went to in order to get my ticket was Euston station, which is a major Network Rail station that's also connected to the London Underground's Euston tube station.

    When I go to Manchester, I'll have to get on a train leaving from this station.

    In the old days in Japan, all trains to western Japan left from Tokyo station, and those to Tohoku left from Ueno station. In this way different stations tied different regions into the railway system (of course, even now some reflection of that structure remains). In England stations are still very much appointed this kind of distinct regional role.

    Buying my ticket was quite a bother. First of all, there are many different kinds of tickets. Even for just a single destination, we must choose the time, date, schedule, round trip or not, etc.

    I suppose if you were used to it, it wouldn't be such a big deal. Anyways, after having a bit of a staring match with the schedule I decided to go to the ticket window and get some advice.

    The fellow at the ticket window, rather neglectfully, simply told me to go to the future tickets window (the special ticket window for advance reservations), so I did as told and went there to get some advice.

    Well, I somehow managed to purchase the ticket I wanted, and finally made it back to the hotel. Back at my room I made preparations, and then went to Barnes. Barnes is the locality where Marc passed away in that fateful crash. It was a beautiful town with a very country air to it.

    After enjoying a little time at the site, just me and Bolan, I went to the next station from Barnes, Barnes Bridge. There wasn't really anything special to see at Barnes Bridge, but there was a river there so I stared at the river for a bit, and then returned to the station to find that there were no trains coming. The platform was being redone and seemed to be almost complete except that the wall separating the platform area from outside was still unfinished.

    The town, or perhaps I should say village, had a relaxed atmosphere. With the directions that I had gotten from a very hip girl (or rather woman) that I met at the Marc Bolan tribute concert (Glamrock Easter) in one hand, I headed off to the accident site. At first I thought that I would definitely make a mistake, but luckily in the end I was able to get there without getting lost at all. The street had a lot of traffic, and cars kept zooming past. There was a sidewalk, but only on one side of the road, and what's more on the side without the Bolan tree, making crossing quite an ordeal.
    Anyhow, thinking that if I'm to get hit by a car it might as well be near the tree where Bolan died, I stepped onto the road.

    When I crossed (actually I could see them even before I crossed), I noticed a plethora of messages and bouquets. There were messages from Bolan fans across the universe. Unfortunately, the message I had sent, and that had been posted together with several other people's by Fee Bolan, had apparently been torn off by some drunk guy.

    I was very disappointed. It was really atrocious. For the time being, I posted the picture I had brought to show I had been there, and spaced out for a bit before the memorial. I lit a candle and then, instead of lighting incense, had a smoke and spent a bit of time with Bolan. Noooone came at all. I suppose that if it's not the 16th or the 30th, nobody comes really?

    I waited for the train for 20 minutes. After which the train still hadn't come, but a fellow who looked like a local school teacher appeared and suddenly declared "I can't believe this construction! When will they ever finish it? I can't believe people call this work! That's a mistake." I couldn't think of anything to say but "Uh…yeah. That's right." Then a lady who seemed to be involved in the construction entered the station from the side. "This is a temporary fence, when the basic construction is finished we'll make it look better. I know it looks half done, but that can't be helped now."

    When the train came I ended up getting on through the same door as the fellow I had been talking too, but when I tried to let him go ahead, he said "No, no, after you!" What a gentleman. In Japan there aren't so many guys like that. Rather, there seems to be more old men with the attitude, "Age before youth, I'm first!" I learned a lesson. One day I'll become older, so I'll try to become a gentleman like the fellow I met today. Whether or not I actually do so, that's what I was thinking.

    Today was really a very long day. Once I finally arrived back at the city centre, I wandered about Piccadilly Circus for a while.

    Oh, I forgot. Before I went to Barnes, I also went to Summerset House. I didn't actually go into the building, but just walked around and crossed the Thames River Bridge.

    I also walked to quite a lot of other places, but if I write anymore than this it'll be too much trouble for even me to read over, so I'll leave it till next time.