Sunday, March 18, 2012

2 months in the UK - random musings......part I

Almost two months in the United Kingdom, and here I go.....

Scotland - Edinburgh - heavenly....I feel as if I am reliving my Enid Blyton days, each time I visit the place. My respect for Enid Blyton has simply grown and I highly doubt whether any other writer could articulate so beautifully in their writing.

J.K. Rowling proved to be a blessing in disguise to the Elephants cafe.....the cafe today has bagged a spot in all the tourist pamphlets in Edinburgh as the birth place of Harry Potter!,and therefore is making some big money.

The English almost despise the Scottish - they think they are dumb! And the Scottish think the english to be way too snooty. ( sounds like Ind - Pak eh?? )
Whatever be the case, I think the Scottish are friendly - well at least they look it and seem it - (cannot quite say it with any certainity considering I barely understand what they speak ) times seriously wonder whether my English teachers went wrong!!

Who says there aren't beggars in the UK!! Talk about a well groomed lady sitting beside the cathedral, wrapped in an expensive looking Woollen shawl,hugging a sweet looking pet dog and with tears in her eyes. I was astonished to see the same lady sitting in the same place an hour later, with a latest best selling novel in her hand and a Starbucks/ frasers coffee glass in front of her to collect the coins. How cushy can life get - I enjoy my novel, while people fund me to do so!! But I must give it to those young lads at the station subways, for the wonderful music that they play to earn their bread....some of them show sheer brilliance in their music and they by no means could be categorized as beggars!

I need a place to stay....I go to the rental office, they ask me for my bank account details. I go to the bank to open an account, and they ask me for a UK address proof, my rental lease contract copy or utility bills in my name ....What would poor me who just landed in London a couple of days back do?  I explained to the executive that I am married to so and so person and the contract is in his name, and here is our marriage certificate for verification. The response - but that is in your husbands name, we would require it or utility bills on your name... (me to myself - what a donut!!!.....where in the world would i get those after being here for 2 days!)

Glad that I came prepared, I hand over my passport. The executive then asks me for another proof. I provide her with my driving license, but apparently that isn't accepted. I then provide her with my election I'd card issued in India. But apparently that is not accepted either......Appalled!! And confused!! And felt completely degraded ....I couldn't help but wonder, whether this was all the respect that the card issued by the Government of India had!

London is one place, where banks will hesitate to convert your husbands account into a joint see they are so concerned that the wife will choose to run away with all the hard earned fortune of her husband, when they get divorced. (and we being such dimwits in their eyes, are not aware of the fact that every advance account would imply a service fee of seventeen pounds.)  Believe it or not, it took Hubby dearest and me almost an hour, spread over two weeks to get the customer service executive to convert the account into a joint is the irony - the customer service chic happened to be an Indian who just had just moved into the UK a couple of years before...
Talk about manners, alright - we Asians or Indians relatively lack the finesse and the smooth talking abilities that comes naturally to a majority of the Brits.......but they sure are way better at blowing their nose ( LOUDLY and CONTINOUSLY ) and letting the whole world know how bad a cold they have - oh I stand corrected - 'FLU' it is.......wonder if that is considered gentlemanly or lady like!!

Pink hair,pornographic telephone booths, ladies wearing almost swimsuits on a chilly friday night where the temperature hits 0 degree, a license for television, contracts for everything, safety pins for 2 pounds :O ( in India it is Rs. 2), dirty roads here and there ( sadly some of the dirtiest areas happen to be inhabited by Asians- Indians and Lankans), same fares to commute by rail or air....Welcome to London :P

I guess,this post turned out to be a little too cynical, but I must admit that London is beautiful the way it is.....the weather, the greenery,  the Victorian architecture, the typical Brit breakfast, the interiors and the food at the pubs ( minus the alcohol ofcoAurse),the roadside coffee shops, the lovely breeze, a pleasant Sunday morning, the amazing variety of boots that you find here would bring a smile on anyone's face.......but all said and done India is better in so many sure do realize the value of home when you are away from it.......keep watching this space for part two and the sequels that would follow (hopeful that the inspiration to update my blog strikes more frequently) ....I will try and be a little more nice to the Brits there.......for now, I sign off the Brit way.....cheers folks!!.....bye now ( in the singy songy tone) :P