mercredi 30 mars 2011

Tired of London? No, not for now.

I have not felt so content being in a city, for a long time.. Not this is not my beloved Havana, where I know the nooks and crannies and the reverberating life, but the London of my memories and my imagination. I love being in London.
Yesterday, on arrival at the Heathrow London Airport, we, the Non European passport holders had to wait behind a recently arrived flight from Pakistan, mostly men in their twenties with wide bright eyes looking at their future, all anxious and facing questioning by the Immigration Authorities. Now all UK visa holders need to be finger printed so you can imagine how slowly the line moved. When I arrived, the tired immigration officer was glad to see the Australian Passport and we chatted for a while. I have noticed that the immigration officers are friendly..
To the Pavillion Hotel at Sussex Gardens near Paddington Station. The fast train from Heathrow to Paddington takes 15 minutes and the slow train takes 27 minutes! was nice to see Shaun at the desk again and he showed me a couple of rooms and I chose the Blue room called Reflections, you can see it in the photo above.
A very tasty Pakistani dinner at Lahore Restaurant, hailing itself as one of the oldest Halal restos in London, in Church street near the hotel. Karahi Ghosht and Naan, eating alone is not fun but i had something to read and also observe subtly the waiters and also their interactions with the pakistani and non pakistani customers. I recommend this resto.
Arriving at Brunel University London, my Anthro alma mater, I felt the pain of the loss of my teacher, Cecil Helman. Soon the familiarity returned and was able to impart some words of my experience of being an Applied Medical Anthropologist. Before coming to give this lecture, I had asked my Indian teacher, Pierre of the UmonHon, and he had said: Dont talk too much about yourself but may the Spirits send good words so that it may be of some help to other people. I was able to use that advice in my description of Networking among the Indians: it is all about others where as among Non Indians, Networking is about themselves, what can i get out of this, how can this person be use to me...
It is so good to bring some fresh knowledge or perspective to the students, in this case post graduate students in Medical Anthropology in this programme at Brunel University London considered to be one of the best Medical Anthropology programmes.
It was good to feel the comraderie of academia and when I got back to London I walked back along the Marelyborne street looking at the various buildings...
I said to myself
I like being in London..