Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

The colors of Bethnal Green February 22, 2009

When I said the other day that all of London is in mourning, there is one group that I forgot about.  The area that my husband lives in is traditionally an immigrant starting point, sort of like parts of New York city.  It is where the newest wave of immigrants lives for a generation or two and then they move up the social strata and a new group of immigrants moves in.  In the 50’s and 60’s this area was the Jewish area.  Before that, the Irish (and they worked in the mills that the area was known for…. It’s never really been a great neighbor hood.).  Anyway, the current inhabitants are from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and other countries in that area of the world.  The men wear the black uniform but the women, oh the women!  You will see a woman walking down the street in a full facial veil, only her eyes are visible, but trailing behind her like a color interpretation of her soul is a magenta or turquoise or yellow scarf with sequins flapping on the end.  There are some women who dress in the traditional sari, or variations on their traditional dress.  They are like dour peacocks who were promised a land of plenty only to be plopped down onto Bethnal Green where the only thing promised to them is a lot of work.  But their colors are still startling.  I’m certain that this is one of the few parts of home that they can still hold onto.  What will I still hold onto? Maybe it isn’t so important to hold on if you aren’t in the soul erasing city.  I don’t know, I guess that I will find out….

House hunting has gone well.  I have one house that we are planning on going out to visit and sign on and all of that tomorrow when the hubby  is here.  And, in case that one falls through for some reason I have a back-up house that is quite nice and, frankly, huge, that I would be ok in as well.  So I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to do with myself.  I am thinking of going to the British Museum and having a bit of a look around.  The last time that I was there we didn’t have much time and I ended-up sort of “speed viewing” some of the most important historical discoveries in the world.  We’ll see…..

I have been going to a coffee shop/”art gallery” near the flat to get my e-mails and a daily tea fix.  Not that there isn’t tea in the flat, I just need to find a place to us the internet!  I put art gallery in quotes as it seems to primarily show graffiti which I still haven’t made up my mind as to if I think it is art or not.  The guy who is behind the counter seems to have a fetish with the volume of the music in the place.  It attracts all sorts of normal and interesting folks.  Yesterday a very tall, blond man came in with his curly hair flying out from under the bottom of his very tall top hat.  The rest of his attire was as, unusual, as his head-wear.  It was truly like looking at an extra from a Harry Potter movie. It was interesting to see.  I wish there was some way I could’ve Kinneared him.

 

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