I’m from a bad estate in a big city and I thought I’d seen it all. Then, one day, I went to Portsmouth. OMFG.
Never before in all my years, walking through a city centre in daylight, had I felt intimidated. (Let’s just repeat that fact; it was Saturday afternoon. It was NOT midnight. It was light. It was the middle of the day. So you’d think that most of the local werewolves would still be at home in “bed”. But no. Clearly, in Portsmouth, none of the ‘living dead’ ever sleep).
What was so bad?
Well…. there was the usual smell of pee, tons of litter, a burned mattress in the high street and shops selling stuff for a maximum of 50p. Nothing much unusual there.
But it was quite a shock to see a gang of ten/eleven year old boys, effing and blinding, then mugging someone and running off laughing. Like I said, that was in the High Street in broad daylight.
There was also a fight outside the railway station, a man chucking up outside Greggs (before or after a visit? I wasn’t sure), two rival groups of beggars having a shouting match and a (presumably) drunken woman walking along the High Street with nothing at all on her top half. What an advert for the city! Seriously, it was like a fkin war zone.
There was one good thing about Portsmouth: and that was leaving it. But even that was tense. A group of ch**s were hanging around in the station and had to be moved on by the police so that people could get through the ticket barriers. I can sum the place up easily: you don’t wait for a train in Portsmouth – you PRAY for one!