So I was with my brother but we weren’t in the pub and we weren’t at the game, we were walking down Victoria Road instead.
Uncertain twilight, unsure of the time but knowing very well exactly where we were.
Does Govanhill always smell like this?
Like a barbecue or a festival.
Aye, sounds about right.
We were right at the top of the road, near the gates of Queen’s Park, on pavements so wide it could be a boulevard, an avenue, even a thoroughfare. Like an old photo from the past, with a horse and cart, a tramcar, or a wee barra boy back in the day.
Places like Strathbungo – hiya – always have such narrow pavements because everyone drives there and no one walks.
But why would you drive a car in Govanhill? Ye just wouldnae. You might cycle a bike but even then, bikes and cars are almost the same. They’re not legs, which have feet and shoes which drive you forward, push you along, onward then upward on pavements this wide.
Is that grilled lamb?
Might be the vegan and veg café. Could be Anarkali, everyone’s favourite curry house. Maybe smoked sausage or black pudding from the chippy next door. A roll and fritter, a haggis supper, or chicken taco from the place across the road.
Grand tenements up here, bourgeois views over the park, stoops that could double for Brooklyn, aye right. Flowers in a basket, fragrant wee plants from a scratched patch of land in a damp backcourt. Cake box over there, kebab shoap round the corner, spearmint ice cream from the Italian down by. I could feel my brother trying to take it all in.
Every time I come here there’s something new. A café, a pet shop, a record store.
I know, it’s always the same round here.
Then he said there’s so many places to eat no wonder you’re a fat bastard and I said shut it Gorbals and he said calm doon Govanhill what are you having and I said I’m having the lot.