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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Old fashioned values

The day: Wednesday
The time: 3:47pm
The place: The UK Home Office, Croydon

A middle aged lady sits at a desk behind bulletproof glass. She wears large black-rimmed spectacles that resemble the wings of a bat. Her hair is pulled back neatly into a brown and grey bun and she has on a smart beige suit. She shuffles through a pile of documents and then taps away at her computer.

On the other side of the glass, in a chair about 1 metre away from the desk, is a diminutive figure in jeans and a pale blue tanktop. She is clutching a plastic box file with a broken lock, a book with a picture of a blue dragon on the front, and a bottle of water.

Batwings: Give me your application form, your receipts, your passport, your marriage certificate and your bank statements from the last 6 months.

TSCD: Here. (Slips them into a metal drawer ala 'Silence of the Lambs')

Batwings: (Opens metal drawer at the other end) Now, did you bring your documents supporting your application?

TSCD: Yes.

Batwings: Please arrange them into 3 separate piles from 2004, 2005 and 2006.

TSCD: Okay. (Slips them into metal drawer)

Batwings: Where are your documents from before August 2004?

TSCD: I don't have any.

Batwings: What?

TSCD: (louder) I don't have any.

Batwings: Speak up please.

TSCD: (Gets up from chair to get nearer to glass) I don't have any!

Batwings: Please sit back down in the chair.

TSCD sits down in the chair and tries to edge it towards the desk. She realises that the chair is bolted to the floor.

TSCD: (yelling) I don't have any other documents!

Batwings: You're supposed to bring proof that you and your husband have been living together.

TSCD: (yelling) I did!

Batwings: But these only date back to August 2004.

TSCD: (yelling) Well, we were only married at the end of July!

Batwings: So?

TSCD:(yelling) So I don't have any documents from before August!

Batwings: (looks suspiciously at TSCD) Is that so?

TSCD: (yelling) Well...we were only married at the end of July!

Batwings: I will have to discuss this with my supervisor.

Batwings disappears off for a few minutes, she returns with a blonde gentleman with a purple silk tie.

Purple: So you only have two years worth of documents showing that you and your husband lived together for two years.

TSCD: (yelling) We've only been married for two years!

Purple: Before that?

TSCD: (yelling) Before that I was still in medical school and he was working in Faraway Hospital.

Purple: (suspiciously) Is that so? When did you meet?

TSCD: (yelling) We met at medical school and we went to the same church together until he started work at Faraway Hospital.

Purple: (surprised) Church, huh.

Batwings: (surprised) Church, huh.

TSCD: (yelling) Church, yes. Then, I graduated and we got married.

Purple and Batwings, together: Church, huh.

TSCD: (yelling) Church, YES.

Purple and Batwings, together: Oh, I see. I get what you mean now.

TSCD: (not yelling) ....


Blogger jadeite said...


Oh dear *wipes tears* i suppose cohabitation is much too common over there.

3:24 am  
Blogger Tym said...

I hope your encounter had a happy ending, despite Batwings' best attempts not to understand you :P

8:20 pm  
Blogger w. said...


You do have the strangest encounters.

11:52 pm  

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