Indian in England

Musings of a student

Sunday, March 07, 2004

RACISM, I had been told, is a favourite pastime in England.

They don’t seem to play that particular sport much over here in Bournemouth (pronounced ‘Bon-moth’, with unnecessary vehemence attached to the first bit), except for poking fun at Americans endlessly, though two Indian friends tell me some idiots shouted the usual rot at them once.

In my three months in England, I have had only one such experience. And that was in wintry Leeds -- 235 miles by road from Bournemouth, where my wife is studying -- while on a desperate job-hunt.

Noticing ‘Wanted: Assistant’ in a fish stall in the Kirkgate market, I switch on my irresistible charm and approach the middle-aged proprietor. She is serving a customer, mouth split in a stiff smile and stale sales-talk.

I wait. She turns to me. The smile freezes.

I am looking forward to being her assistant, I say. She looks at me with obvious distaste.

“I can give you an application form if you want,” she says at last, and waits for me to say, oh, no, that’s all right, and disappear. Instead, I say, yes, that would be nice.

She stares some more. Hands me a form. Turns back to her fish.

Perhaps she was only objecting to my face. Perhaps.

1 Comments:

Blogger murali said...

Hey there,
I am from Mumbai and from what I understand by reading your Blogs, so are you ...
Well,by some kind of divine ( or it could be devilish ) intervention, I may be relocating to Bournemouth on an official assignment. I have a lot of doubts about the development and am looking for some kinship to allow my thoughts to crystallise on the matter. If it is ok with you, I would like to correspond with you in hope of some tidbits of information about Bournemouth.

I am really new to the blogging concept so i am not sure of this is the correct protocol to try to network..By the way, I like what I read in your blogs..

10:03 AM  

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