After the leisurely lunch, he put on his top-coat as protection against the increasing chill of the afternoon, and took a long walk through the relative emptiness of the West End on a Sunday afternoon, Piccadilly, Bond Street, St. James's Square, Regent Street. London gave him a feeling of pleasant anonymity, of a measured and timeless courtesy, a feeling that if he had been able to walk on his hands, he would attract very little additional attention. It is, he thought, an older and more complex culture, larded with a certain smugness, shot through with little social nuances and distinctions we never catch, vastly more tolerant of eccentricity. A society of contradictions as strange as our own. They bowdlerise their novels, yet print daily papers exploiting the more feral and rancid aspects of sex with a smirking boldness unknown in the all the rest of the western world.
From John D. MacDonald's I Could Go On Singing (Fawcett: 1963)