London has lots of places full of mania and chaos. The hellish traffic on the Marble Arch roundabout, and Speaker's Corner nearby. Victoria station at rush hour, the weekend crowds at Covent Garden, and the inner workings of the mind of that 'Don't be a sinner, be a winner' religious bloke.
Trafalgar Square might just be the craziest of them all. My walk to work allows me to pass through this famous spot in the morning, and once again in the evening. The morning walk through can be fairly peaceful, and nowhere near as busy as one might expect.
Its a pleasure to catch glimpse of the fantastic view to be had down Whitehall towards Big Ben, and to walk by the National Gallery and the Fourth Plinth (that new Gift Horse sculpture is an improvement, but I am starting to miss that stupid giant blue cock).
Look closer though, and even the early morning session is punctuated by madness. There's usually a protest of some description setting up camp, sometimes a group of homeless people chilling out, often sharing a few bottles of wine (hey, its 8:55 am, why not), and always a line of burly eastern European-looking men assembling weird metal frames in prime positions in front of the gallery.
By the time I walk back through the square on the way home, its like another world. There's now people everywhere, music, street performers, school trip groups, and hundreds of tourists lapping it all up, each one armed with a selfie stick and a guide book.
Those strange metal frames I saw in the morning have now become the props of the 'levitating' performers, who like to dress up as Yoda. Officially its for the kids, but unofficially it serves as a convenient excuse to wear long robes that help cover up the frame (side note to the classic 'statue' performers: You need to step your game up. These guys are frickin' floating in mid air, and all you can do is just stand there).
Inexplicably, the most popular performer with the tourists seems to be DJ Granpa, whose simple act involves playing Euro pop on a phony deejay rig, while wearing an old man mask. I guess this is why London is considered to be the culture capital of the world.
Walking through the evening freak show takes mere seconds for me, but getting out alive each day feels like a victory. But then again I wouldn't want Trafalgar Square any other way, and love the madness just as much as it can nark me after a hard day at work.