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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Heavy weather. [20050805|12:16]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Last Friday was the first time since the bombings that I've gotten on an Underground train or a bus without thinking about the possibility of being blown up. When I finally did, most of the way through my journey, I was disappointed.

Today I walked to the Camden Town tube stop. Just outside, near the Halfway House pub, a group of eight police officers were searching two young black men. The men were cooperating, if a bit sulkily and with much eye-rolling. As I passed, a white man in a blue shirt jumped at one of the men, screaming. "You look like one of them, you are one of them, you fucking cunt." The police wrestled him away from the scene. I caught the eye of a woman nearby and she shook her head sadly at me. As if on cue, it started to rain.

Borough Market was extremely quiet today.

I think I'm depressed.
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Comments:
From: capitalflash
2005-08-05 11:34 (UTC)
racism is a strange thing over here. most of the time people would rather not talk about race.

when the last of your guests go, how about you get out of the city for a bit? even if it's just for a daytrip to brighton or something.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 11:44 (UTC)
Yes. Same with religion, wouldn't you say? Politics is fair game, but religion and race are kind of taboo.

That is a great idea. Thanks, I think I'll do that. I haven't been to Brighton yet, either. :-)
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-05 12:05 (UTC)
definately. we're a strange people.

i keep meaning to go soon because i still haven't been inside the pavillion. there's a lovely fish and chip place on the seafront, past the brighton centre. and there is a area of shops that's a bit like camden.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 13:32 (UTC)
I dunno if you have the dosh for a bus/train ticket but we could always go together? We could pack a picnic to keep things cheap too.
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-05 13:37 (UTC)
unfortunately i'm pretty much fully booked up through to thursday which is when i should - fingers crossed - be having my operation. unless you fancy a day trip to norwich in the next few days?
if i get blown off again, we definately should. the train ticket isn't too bad with a young person's railcard.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 13:45 (UTC)
That sounds fun too! Just keep me posted on your schedule.
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-05 13:51 (UTC)
i'm in norfolk saturday till the end of tuesday, wednesday we're celebrating our anniversary and going to the gig dan is organising. if you seriously wanted to meet up in norwich for some no-stress shopping or a change of pace, then please let us know :) we were planning to spend tuesday afternoon shopping and things before getting on the train in the evening. i'll let you know of any other developments.
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-07 12:17 (UTC)
we're going to be in norwich monday and tuesday - monday to get craft stuff so joanna can craft like never before in the evening. let us know if you fancy a day trip, we can go to the castle/shops/pub/cinema/anywhere.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-07 18:31 (UTC)
Monday I won't be able to do because of tai chi class and Tuesday because of other obligations about which I am obliged to be vague. :-\ Thank you, though, and I hope you both have a wonderful time.
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-07 19:44 (UTC)
just promise me you'll get out of london for a bit soon! :)
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2005-08-05 11:59 (UTC)
I know what you mean. The last time I had a really bad row with my father was about five years ago. My parents (very English) were visiting us in Toronto. My father asked whether it bothered me that there were so many "Coloured people" (Toronto is about 35% non-white). I went ballistic (which I probably should not have). It's not that he's a "hard" racist, he's definitely not but this (unstated, unexamined) assumption that "coloured people" are OK as long as there aren't too many of them and they are not too prominent seems typical of brits of his generation.
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From: capitalflash
2005-08-05 12:09 (UTC)
*nods* my dad's a bit of bastard in that he likes to say things for shock value, or in a roundabout way i sometimes think he's just testing me. it's stupid.
he does however hang out with very small town-type people who freaked out and worried about me when i lived in tottenham (very multicultural area of London). please. the only people there who gave me cause for concern were the white football fans.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 13:34 (UTC)
That sounds fantastic. Imagine the size of the ham you'd need for an ostrich egg Denver omelet.

Mmm, ham.
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[User Picture]From: prosicated
2005-08-05 12:54 (UTC)
How revolting and unsurprising and blah!
(do not be depressed!!!)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 13:37 (UTC)
Yes, it was quite disgusting. Although it was nice to see the police handling the situation so calmly and treating the young men they were searching with courtesy. Especially after that unfortunate shooting business.

I am drinking tea and delighting in Banksy's latest stunt. It's helping.
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[User Picture]From: prosicated
2005-08-05 16:05 (UTC)
I do quite love Banksy's art, and tea, I love tea, too.
Calm is fine, but I still feel as if searching and detaining folks in public is a bit unnecessary. I mean, either they picked the two folks up at random, in which case, they owe them some privacy; or they are two identified suspects who were being watched, and they ought to be taken somewhere for investigation. Detaining two young men in public invites the kind of behavior that the cops at least admirably restrained, I think.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-06 10:27 (UTC)
To be fair, the particular corner where they were being searched is one where it's normal to be offered drugs. I doubt they were being searched for explosives. It's much more likely it was a routine shake-up of the dealers that lurk around the Tube station. But you're right, having eight officers searching two men does draw an awful lot of attention to the situation, and in the current rather tense atmosphere. I don't know what the solution is, though, because detaining suspects in a more private way invites things like random people being plucked off the street, stuffed into police cars and carted down to the station, which is just as disturbing.
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[User Picture]From: prosicated
2005-08-06 13:01 (UTC)
Yeah, the whole stuffed into cars thing isn't really any better. Kinda scary, actually. Maybe I should boil down my theory to: police are disturbing.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-06 10:40 (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: prosicated
2005-08-06 13:01 (UTC)
*sob*
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2005-08-05 13:13 (UTC)
Gah. That is just so... I don't even know the words. That kind of stuff really makes me despair of humanity.

As to depressed, I will not say that you shouldn't be, I'll just say that you should let it run its course, but try to notice the good things around you. Wish there was a good way to send a hug or some tea through teh internet.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-05 13:43 (UTC)
It helps a bit to reflect on the fact that the police officers were mostly white, a mixture of male and female, and were being pretty polite to the young men they were searching. They handled the situation level-headedly.

The tea is a good idea. Doing that now, thanks for the inspiration.
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2005-08-05 20:18 (UTC)
that's really sad. like any empire, the brits seem to be much more pro-active about their new no-nonsense policy (as opposed to the all-talk-no=action policy here, which is sort of not true, because really, they just take their aggression outside the borders, but that's another post for another time...)

anyway, congratulations on getting back on the underground. that's a hard and big step to take.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-06 10:37 (UTC)
I've ridden the Underground regularly through both bombings. I kind of have to. :-\ I won't say it's been without trepidation, but I dunno if kudos are necessarily deserved for something I don't really have a choice about. Thanks, though.
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From: (Anonymous)
2005-08-06 13:44 (UTC)

pppffffflt!

oh - fast reading - must have misread (*blushing*).
i now recall underground photos, right?
(at least i hope i recall correctly - it's way too early for alzheimers.)

; )
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-07 10:23 (UTC)
As much as I would like to take you up on that offer, we have our Sad Bastard (i.e. gaming) obligation this afternoon. Although we may be terminating that obligation soon, given the lack of enthusiasm we have for it. Thank you, though.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2005-08-07 18:15 (UTC)
Oh my, New Year. I still don't like talking about New Year. It sounds like a day for staying in and watching films for you.

Marco brought home a cask strength Laphroaig on Friday night. Yummy. What were you drinking?
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