Yeah okay, I am getting a little bored of this myself but I am too lazy to do anything else. So.
"You haven't really graduated, right?"
"So this is a pre-phd post-doc?"
"Something like that"
"So we can put you down as a full time student?"
"You are sure about this?"
"Not really. What is this for?"
"Tell me if its alright if I put you down as a full time student"
"I am not really one. Not in this country anyway"
"But you still hold a valid F1"
"And a UK work permit"
"Oh..wait, do you have any history of mental illness?"
"Well, any history in your family? Or have you ever been to a psychartist? Will he certify that you are mentally impaired?"
"You are mad"
"But the problem is no one with authority will certify that"
"What is this about anyway?"
"You are well, vertically challenged. You think you can pass off as an 18-year old? This could be your gap year"
"My passport says I am 10 years older than that. And still, if I may remind you, younger than you by a year"
"Ten months. Only ten months. Hm..are you a member of any international institution?"
"I dunno. Something or the other. Whats that techie thing you all belong to? IEEE. I wonder if that counts"
"Maybe. Have you ever been in prison? In this country?"
"Hello? Whats going on?"
"This is a good one. Can we pass you off as some sort of a monk? A Buddhist one, maybe?"
"Yeah, I am the new Lama. Cool!"
"Hmmm..but what are you doing here in London?"
"Masquerading as a post-doc to run away from the Chinese?"
"Not bad. Might work"
"Yeah right. That will only get me into prison."
"Thats good too. Either you are a monk or you are in prison. We win either way."
"Thats enough alright? Whats going on? What is that you are reading?"
"When we work out the full Council Tax amount, we assume two adults are living in the property and it is their main residence. If only one aduly lives in a property, we reduce the amount they have to pay by a quarter. When considering the number of adults living in a property, we do not count certain people. These include:
- full time students, student nurses etc.
- patient living in hospital
- people who are severely mentally impaired
- poeple staying in certain hostels or night shelters
- 18 and 19 year olds who are at or have just left school
- care workers working for low pay
- members of visting forces and certain international institutions
- foreign diplomats and certain members of international organizations
- members of religious communities (for example, monks and nuns)
- people in prison (except those in prison for not paying Council Tax)
Which one do you want to be?"
In other news, Bill has been making friends with all subcontinent junta in the neighborhood. Like yesterday, he was telling the clerk at Tesco that yes, he is indeed from Bangladesh. He told the kebab-seller at Church Street market on Saturday that ofcourse he is from Karachi. Worse, he speaks such chaste Hindi with the bhaiyya at Marylebone station that I couldn't understand a word of it. [To be fair though, I must say that my Hindi speaking (comprehending) skills are legendary. Once, under attack by a particularly virulent army of salmonellae in Cuzco, I spoke in rapid Hindi to the nurse to get her to use a new syringe, thinking that I was speaking in well, Spanish while a bewildered Bill looked on. I mean, both foreign languages, so easy to get confused. No?] Anyway, the point is that all these neighborhood junta, despite Bill's Hindi-speaking skills, are actually sympathizing with me. Like the above-mentioned kebab-seller in Church St market who told Bill on Saturday "Bhai, apne jeb se bhi paise nikalo na?"