It was late-ish. I was tired and I wanted to be home. I changed buses at Aldgate but there were loads of people waiting there... a bad sign that there hadn't been a bus in ages and that we wouldn't all get on the next one because the conductor would have to count us on.
The first bus predictably sailed past, the second took about three quarters of the people and seeings though I had been waiting for only about 5 minutes, I was more than happy to wait for the next one. But when the next one came, there was the scramble and we knew that if we couldn't get a seat upstairs, we would be thrown off and have to wait for another one to come. At this rate, because three had come, I predicted a long wait for a fourth bus to arrive. (They come in threes more or less). Me and K were counted on and found seats near the front upstairs. I was standing up in front of my seat making sure K was ok, when a girl I had spotted earlier slid into my seat so I couldn't sit down. I had lost my seat and was in danger of being thrown off if the conductor came upstairs.

I had spotted the girl earlier because she was one of three waiting under the bus shelter and had stood next to me. They were young and drunk and foreign. I pigeon-holed them as some of the new comers to our area. They speak a language that sounds like Russian, but I guess is Serbo-Croat. I have been noticing more and more Russian/Serbo-Croat sounding people in the area over the past few years. At times, I have truly empathised with people who are angry with the authorities placing large(ish) numbers of new immigrants all of sudden in my area. I have thought how much easier it would be on local residents, on me, if there was some information. Who are they? Why did they come? I don't know, that sort of thing. And this was one of those moments...

This foreign woman had done a very un-English thing - she had literally taken my seat from under me and I was very angry at her. And I was very angry at her foreign ways and her needy desperation, which made her choose to take the seat from under me.
And while I knew I was being irrationally xenophobic, just because I was feeling low and needy, I still felt it.

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