Got my OCI card in the post today. The document transition is now complete
…from the Indian passport & the British permanent visa (indefinite leave to remain)
…to the British passport & the Indian permanent visa (overseas citizen of India)
They were initially bemused by the complexity of bus timetables, bin collections and—most of all—by the changeable weather. “In our country, when it’s summer, it’s summer,” says Ziead Alsaouah, Mr Batak’s son-in-law.
—The Economist | After the exodus
I had a very similar reaction to the weather when I moved here 8 years ago.
North India, where I spent the first 24 years of my life, has a very predictable weather. When it’s summer, it’s hot and dry for months on end. When it’s the rain season, it’s raining almost every day for a month. And when winter arrives, it’s bitterly cold, mostly dry, and frequently foggy (recently smoggy) for months on end.
Contrast that to the weather here on the island – it’s common to have at least two seasons in a day. Three’s not uncommon either. We had two months of constant dry, warm summers this year, and it’s already caused a mild panic. If we get a week of snow in the winter, news bulletins are full of ‘snowcalypse’ references.
It’s unsettling, at least initially, for people coming from places with stable, ‘continental’ weather patterns. Where culture, life, traditions, activities are based on the season, what do we do when the seasons just aren’t anymore?
.. is hard. Even when the change is conscious, and (hopefully) for the better.
Grey, cold, and drizzling.
Just the way I love the UK to welcome me back.
And quite a change after 2 weeks in beautifully warm, but horribly smoggy India.
No one wanted to think about the gangs of no-hope teenagers who already took over the nearby park all day, drinking lager and waiting for something to happen to them, trapped in a forgotten village in no-man’s land between a ten-shop town and an amorphous industrial sprawl.
Meena, in Anita & Me, by Meera Syal
I see an Eastern European women while walking Chewie, and try to give her a wide pass.
Because they’re expected to be ‘not very friendly’ towards men of colour. Specially, when encountering a brown man in the middle of nowhere.
She turned out to be the friendliest person I met all week. We chatted and walked together for 20 mins, while our dogs played with each other to exhaustion.
Almost midnight, outside the 24/7 Tesco superstore. A young, white British (looking) lady is about to drive off with her boot (full with shopping) fully open.
I wave at her to stop. She looks at me, makes a face, and turns her car the other way to go the long way round.
I honk to get her attention, and point at the boot.
She gets out, says ‘Thanks. Bye.’, and closes the boot. I drive off.
After thought: What was I thinking, expecting a young white woman to respond to a wave from a brown man in the middle of the night?
Anil Dash is disturbed by the latest round of shooting deaths of black Americans at the hands of that country’s clearly racist police force.
He tweets a storm, including bits about Asians/Indians needing to show solidarity towards fellow Black Americans.
I respond, pathetically:
And follow it up with this:
Both those statements are true. Neither is useful.
Race, is hard.
Fail. Get failed. Try again.
Go from Calais to Dover in under an hour. Arrive in the past.