Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seasons of Change in London.

Last Sunday, as the clocks in England fell back an hour at 2am, officially ending the summer season. Kashikulu was in the joyous company of the Zambian Diaspora in the UK at the New Connaught rooms in Holbon, at a concert celebrating our 43rd independence. There was so much to see and talk about with friends, former classmates and new friends. Listening to stories of their different experiences, it was as though a new season has dawned for Zambians in the UK.
For me and my wife, however it appears little has changed in London, the narrow roads are still clogged with impatient motorists (the average US driver, even in Chicago, rarely uses the horn as much), the trains in London still stop running before 2am on weekends (the trains in Chicago never cease, only reducing frequency from every 10min to 30min or an hour apart).
But, the least change for us, was at the hotel, we are staying in, which happens to be a US owned. Since checking in Friday, it has been my desire to blog from London, everyday while here, the hotel advertises, ibahn high speed internet in every room. I have called the hotel’s magic number to get the internet working for me, several times but, has received no magic service. Every time I call, the answering party, retorts my request with a series of impolitely spoken directions. I can read and I have followed the written instructions to the letter without success. This morning, I got on all fours and discovered the problem myself; the Ethernet port on wall does not plug-in securely. My wife’s request for extra linen, met a similar fate, until on the third call to the magic number; she offered to go pick it up herself. If this happened at a bed and breakfast, am sure one would be inclined to say “that’s what you get” but this is the Hilton, and this is in spite of the responsible Secretary’s plea for hotels in the UK to dump the fawlty tower image.
Today, David Cameron threw the immigration issue back on my mind; apparently immigration will be responsible for a 10 million population increase in the UK. He fears, the strain on public infrastructure will be immense, though Kashikulu suspects, as in the US where democrats and republicans are bitterly divided on this issue; there may be other fears also, at play.
We are leaving and checking out of Fawlty towers in a few hours, I will post more blogs about my pleasant talks with UK Zambians.

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