By all accounts Croydon is Chav Central, having just moved here from Streatham (stupid I know, but blah blah blah), and I’ve got pretty used to the chavs/chavettes lurking around the Whitgift etc, but via a tram catching error I ended up in New Addington, which takes Chavdom to a whole new level. The closer I got to the Belly of the Beast, the greater the density of shellsuits etc, and I got the idea that NA was going to be pretty grim, but nothing can prepare you for the sheer horror of hitting the motherlode – while Croydon chavs are orcs, New Addington chavs are the Uruk Hai (apologies to any Tolkein fans if I’ve got the terminology wrong) – chavs on crystal meth, so to speak. The ‘shopping’ parade is a selection of ‘Pahnd’ shops, crummy takeaways etc, with the main pastime being queuing while long suffering shop keepers try to deal with pond life incapable of managing the most basic transaction without having some kind of breakdown when faced with selecting the right money from their polyester pockets. All I wanted was a tin of cigars – available in every corner shop from one end of the country to the other – but wanting anything other than 10 Mayfair clearly made me some kind of freak – it took three retailers to find anything of the sort. As it was a Sunday trams were at a premium, meaning I was stuck in that chavhole for half an hour. I’ve drunk in some pretty rough boozers in my time, but the idea of killing time in the usual fashion was out of the question, as there’s only so many times you can put up with being eyeballed (if you are lucky) or being called a ‘cahnt’.
Anyway, a tram back to the Cotswold village that is Croydon eventually turned up, and making sure I didn’t turn round for fear of being turned into a pillar of salt made my escape. However, the returning tram was full of them, scoffing takeaways, bellowing into their ‘mobys’ and making an ear splitting collective rustle of cheap sportswear. Whoever it was who suggested that the team line should be cut to keep them out should have his suggestion followed up and get a knighthood.