Number 11

My name is Livia and I come from Bucharest.


We have a saying in my country: Totul trebuie sa aiba un inceput. Which means: Everything must have a beginning. So I will begin my story like this.

I have been living in London for more than five years, and my job is taking the dogs of very rich people for their daily walk. Most of my clients live in Chelsea. I used to live there myself but then the rents became so high that I moved out to Wandsworth so now every day I begin by taking a bus across the river. I look out through the windows of the bus as we cross the bridge, and from that point on, every time the bus gets to another stop I can see the signs of wealth more and more clearly inscribed in the streets and feel the air itself getting heavier with the tangy scent of money.

-Jonathan Coe, Number 11: A Novel

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