‘It’s still authentically British here.’

If you are new here, hi! You might want to read my previous post for this to make sense!

Filled with butterflies, I entered the lecture room on my first day. I was excited, and ready to put the stupid comments my flatmates had made behind me. I sat next to this girl, lets call her Emma, who seemed pretty friendly. After the first induction/introduction lecture we had, she asked me if I wanted to grab some lunch. I gladly accepted! We went to the canteen and started talking. She told me she was local to the village, and how she loved staying here. Now I’m quite an honest bluntish person, so I told her what was happening at the campus accommodation. And that’s when she said it. ‘Well we don’t exactly get a lot of people like you here, but I think that’s the nice thing about this place. It’s still authentically British.’ I remember just wanting the floor to swallow me up whole. I stared at her in disbelief, and tried to explain that ethnicity and nationality are two very separate things. She refused to understand this, and said it didn’t matter. Feeling pissed off, I excused myself and left.

I returned to my room, and skipped out on the rest of my lectures for the day. Little did I know, this was going to be a very common thing for me. I put a movie on to distract myself from the shitstorm of negative thoughts I was having. Dinner time rolled around, and I begrudgingly left my room to make some dinner. My Dad is a chef, and because it was my first week, he had made me some of my favourite Indian foods- Paneer, Dhal and Cholay with naan bread. I began heating myself up some food when in walks Sally. Looking at my food in disgust, she asked me what it was. I explained that my Dad was a chef, and that Paneer was basically cheese. She then went on to ask me if I was vegetarian. I told her that I was, but also explained that 90% of my family weren’t and that I used to eat meat when I was younger. She gave me a weird look asking if it was okay to keep meat products near my vegetarian stuff. I said it was completely fine, as long as the meat was covered (hygiene, hello!). I took my food, and left the room to binge another movie.

Having had a decent sleep, I felt a bit better about the day ahead. I decided I was going to actually try and attend my lectures for the day. I was paying 9k a year after all! I got dressed and went to the kitchen to grab some breakfast. And that’s when I saw it. Raw, uncooked chicken slathered all over my food. Someone had opened all my containers intentionally and put chicken in them, as well as all over my fridge shelf. I slammed the fridge door shut and left for lecture. I convinced myself I would deal with it later, and that I would stick to my promise of attending lessons for the day. I realised within lectures, that I was the only Indian, and often received weird, shifty looks from my peers. Now at this point, I think it’s worth mentioning Sally and Amanda were also on my course. Ode to joy.  

After returning from a day of actually attending lectures, I spent the next two hours throwing out uneaten food which was ruined by the chicken, and scrubbing the fridge shelf. I returned to my room feeling too sickly to eat and curled up on my bed in the dark until I drifted off to sleep.

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