"That's a big bag of tins!" I said, as I was trying to decide if I should get an egg and cress sandwich or a cheese and tomato sandwich.
"I'm single", came the melancholic reply. He was a handsome young man with glasses the rims as black as his long beard, which made him appear much older than his late teen years.
I glanced over to the sales assistant behind the customer services counter, she looked back at me as if to say he won't be on his own for long.
This morning coming up from Sainsbury's supermarket clutching my cheese and tomato sandwich close to my chest I crossed the road as four tall Cross Rail construction workers in orange fluorescent high visibility waistcoats came marching towards me, not because they looked threatening; it just seemed easier.
On the opposite pavement young Muslim school girls, mostly Bangladeshi, but Somalian too, wearing maroon blazers with matching head scarfs were happy and jolly, and kindly moved out of the way to let me through: this army of school ants walking ever so stridently towards me.
Parked on the side of the road were a line of white vans full of crates of Brazilian mangoes, boxes of okra and other exotic fruit and veg the likes of which I had never seen before.
The vans, all with their tail lifts down, were like a line of pupils with their mouths wide open with their tongues sticking out; waiting to be examined by the school nurse.
Respectively I said: afnae bala ne? All the girls in earshot giggled. I had said: how are you in Bengali?
The fish stall on the corner reminded me why I hate fish. I didn't hang around; I fear the smell is going to permeate my skin and over the coming hours sat at my desk, ooze out through my pores.
In the library opposite, amongst the curving bookcases, a woman sat with a child in her lap pointing to the animals in a big colour book.
Other times she would just be sat the fold of the bookcases giving her solitude and sanctuary.
Like a giant children's construction set, market traders were piecing together long square pieces of steel, which after throwing a striped tarpaulin over the top, would eventually form their stall for the day.
Taking care to avoid the blue flashing, two-toned wailing, attention seeking ambulances, I darted across Whitechapel High Street.
A couple of post office workers in blood red fleeces, lounged languidly over the tailboard of a mail van: one, without thought, spat out scarlet hued paan into the gutter then wiped his mouth onto his elbow.