Monday, April 28, 2014

Sad News from Orkney

There's sad news from Orkney: my favorite Indian restaurant has been shut down due to immigration violations. According to the article:
Sixteen men have been detained by immigration enforcement officers after an operation in the north of Scotland.

Three restaurants - Dil Se and Indian Garden, both in Kirkwall in Orkney, and Spice Tandoori in Wick - were targeted.

Fifteen Bangladeshi men and a Nepalese man, aged between 23 and 47, were detained.

A Home Office spokesman said the business owners involved faced large fines if they could not prove that proper checks were carried out.
A few thoughts:

1) If these guys were actually illegal, they picked the right place to hide. Kirkwall and Wick have to be about as far as someone could go to get away from the long arm of the law (other than going to Shetland, which carries its own hazards). The one complication is that it would be tough for South Asians to blend in at a location that's both sparsely populated and ethnically homogeneous.

2) I can't for the life of me imagine the Kirkwall police force, which is tiny, hauling in ten Bangladeshis. I especially can't imagine ten Bangladeshis languishing in the Kirkwall police station, which is about the size of a large home.

Hopefully, the whole thing will be sorted out soon enough. Odds are that it will be: according to CN Ness, who brought the story to my attention:
I walked by it yesterday and it says it should be open by Wednesday.
Let's hope so. Their chow is outstanding.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Around Aberdeen: Ugly Wee Loaner Car

over the Summer, while I was working on my dissertation, I spent nearly every afternoon at a particular Starbucks in Aberdeen's city center. It was an interesting vantage point from whence to observe various goings-on in the city. One thing that I found exceptionally amusing was the day when an "Free Ugly Wee Loaner Car" - apparently the Scottish version of the cars that a mechanic's shop will loan you while they're repairing your car. Fortunately, it was stopped at the traffic light directly adjacent to Starbucks, so I was able to grab my phone and fire up the camera before it sped away. There was also some grocery store whose trucks said something along the lines of "Mums love XYZ", but I don't remember what the "XYZ" was - all I remember is that it was something that didn't quite translate back into the American dialect.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Songs That Remind You 16: Taylor Swift Redux!

A few months ago, I did a Taylor Swift Special Edition(!), and since then I've picked up several additional songs by the fetching Ms. Swift that will continue to remind me of my year (and some change) spent in Scotland. The first of these was one that started getting airplay while I was still down in Aberdeen.

Here in Orkney, while studying at a local pub, I also discovered a track from her previous album entitled Back to December...

... as well as the title track from her current album, Red.

I don't know that I'd say that I actually have a bit of a thing for Ms. Swift. What I would say is that in an age of really vapid and oversexualized garbage (Miley Cyrus, to name but one), it's nice to see a female performer with actual talent who seems somewhat normal and doesn't resort to auto-tuning, flagrant sexualization, and bland lyrics written by committees in order to sell records.

I was going to include an interview with the fetching Ms. Swift on some radio station with a bunch of chumps, but I'll dispense with that. Have a great day!