When I was living in Nova Scotia, specifically Halifax, the prostitutes actually congregated outside the door to my office building. This was not out of any interest in repeat business, mind you, but simply due to the fact that our office had a pink door and was quite recognizable.

They were very obvious prostitutes: scantily clad and offering some rather lewd things to me as I headed in to work some nights. Of course, they generally scattered once they noticed that I had keys to the building which they'd made their signpost.

In London, it's entirely different: My first evening in the city, I was jet lagged and awake at four in the morning in desperate need of food. I set off down the road, largely unpopulated.

"You're looking down, love." I hear, from the side. I turn, squinting, as the road is dimly lit, and manage to discern a middle-aged woman in a brown dress.

"Pardon me?" I say.

"You're looking down." she repeated. Ah, I thought -- the famous English hospitality.

"I've just flown in." I offered, "So I'm a bit tired is all."

"Need some comfort?" she asks, just as my furiously working brain realises that it's never heard the term "English Hospitality" before.

"Oh, you're a hooker!" I exclaim, exultant in having deciphered the riddle, and completely unaware of what I was saying.

She looked sort of downcast, so I felt a need to make amends, "I'm sorry, I just didn't realise until just now, I thought you were just, you know, talking to me."

"That's alright love", she says, "just stop by if you need me."

I promised to do so and continued on my way.

London prostitutes. They seem nice enough.

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