For the uninitiated, Bow's famous Roman Road is the home to a weekend market, various pound shops, a Wetherspoons and 17 different variations of Krispy Fried Chicken.
If you Google Roman Road, as I did looking for an interesting fact to work into this blog, the first thing that comes up is a clip from YouTube. Shot on a mobile, it is an undercover expose on the market practices from two hapless Watchdog wannabes.
They've accompanied their footage with this:
"Tower Hamlets Market inspectors are not STUPID, they are CRIMINALS. They run the markets to line there own pockets. BRIBE the Inspectors and you can do as you like."
Excellent tourist board advice you must agree.
You can always guarantee Roman Road to provide some form of entertainment. In the last few weeks I've seen a family of five trying to fit themselves and a sofa into a Fiesta, met the same group of 15 year olds three times (we're friends now, they've got me apparantly) and quotes from the Life of Brian graffitied on the side of a shop.
Despite, or maybe because of, these enlightening encounters, the Roman Road epitomises East London for me. Loud, a bit grubby and the cashpoint is probably out of order. Lively, colourful and going about its day. There's no pretence. Roman Road can't be what its not. Maybe that's what I love about it.