Already here before they come.

Na├»ve ever I realise that asylum seekers coming to the UK, to the wider Western world, are already here before they arrive. People aren’t coming (well not that many) from a world that is distant from ours. All of the means of modern communication, all of the migration which has already taken place over the past thirty or forty years, shared cultural practices and subtle understandings of geopolitics mean that people come to the UK able to adapt to the world they are living in because it’s not that different the world they were living in. Except perhaps that there are less bombs falling or that it’s organised differently in a way that avoids obvious aggression.

I suppose the main story I can think of that informs this was that time I asked my friend from Sudan at the allotments if you’d like to cook. He was from the Dinka tribe and had facial scars from some initiation. What do you want to cook? I asked him. Do you know any village recipes or something like that? I asked him.

(Yeah well, I really like Jamie Oliver)

that was his reply. And that’s the fact of it. He liked Jamie Oliver.

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