Eating around the divide: ‘There have been moments after I sought after to press eject’ | Lifestyles and magnificence

Caroline, 63, London

Dining across the divider Caroline

Career Now retired, Caroline used to paintings as PA to a newspaper deputy editor

Vote casting document Conservative, since she voted, elderly 20, for Margaret Thatcher. “I have in mind her reducing a pound word in part and pronouncing: that is what Labour has accomplished on your pound.” Voted go away

Amuse bouche Paraglided from Sign Hill in Cape The town

Pankhuri, 30, London

Dining across the divider Pankhuri

Career Immigration legal professional. Pankhuri lived, studied and labored in India till the age of 23. She has now naturalised as a British citizen

Vote casting document At all times Labour, and stay within the EU referendum

Amuse bouche Whilst travelling in Kenya, Pankhuri followed an elephant referred to as Aruba

For starters

Pankhuri She was once operating past due and was once somewhat flustered. I attempted my perfect to make her relaxed.

Caroline I used to be very apprehensive. She was once beautiful – we’ve were given numerous Indian neighbours.

Pankhuri I used to be just a little greatly surprised by way of some portions of the dialog. Her opening line was once: “Oh, you’re Indian then.” She made assumptions, within the sense that I may well be British-born, my oldsters residing right here, and so forth.

Caroline My oldsters had been Jewish immigrants from Poland. My mom had no cash when she got here right here – they’d misplaced the whole lot. An uncle who was once already right here took them in.

Pankhuri Such a lot of immigrants, specifically refugees, have to begin over, and I’m sorry her circle of relatives needed to undergo this. She knew anyone in the similar focus camp as Anne Frank – that was once tough.

Dining across the dividers Pankhuri  (left) and Caroline

The massive red meat

Caroline I’ve volunteered to deal with Ukrainians. Pankhuri was once occurring about Afghanistan and Syria. I mentioned: “That is Europe, on our doorstep.”

Pankhuri What’s going down in Ukraine is horrible, and it’s just right that Ukrainian refugees are getting sympathy and reinforce. However only some months in the past there was once the Afghan disaster. She did say she had by no means met one of the most Polish facet of the circle of relatives who had been killed all over the Holocaust, and that those folks remind her of them. I may see how that may tug at your middle extra.

Caroline You’ve were given these types of folks coming over in boats – how are you aware they haven’t were given bombs on them, that they’re now not terrorists? And why can’t they be given asylum within the nations they first land in, like Italy or Greece?

Pankhuri Hanging borders up and proscribing the motion of folks, products and services and items simply creates obstacles. Motion is herbal, folks have at all times migrated.

Caroline We will’t cope. It’s like me deciding to have numerous children however now not understanding how one can feed or dress them. If there are jobs going, they are able to come. Docs, folks like that from different nations, will have to be allowed in.

Dining across the dividers Pankhuri  (left) and Caroline

Sharing plate

Caroline We agreed so much about Israel. She has lately been to Palestine, serving to out. Simply because I’m Jewish doesn’t imply I accept as true with the whole lot Israel does. I don’t accept as true with settlements by way of ultra-Orthodox folks coming from The united states or no matter.

Pankhuri We had moments of settlement. However then she mentioned: “Some Arabs don’t need peace – why can’t all of them get in conjunction with by way of facet?” There were world agreements that Israel repeatedly ignores.

Dining across the dividers Pankhuri  (left) and Caroline

For afters

Pankhuri She mentioned: “I’m now not going to lie – I like Boris.”

Caroline I did like him. I assumed he was once superb all over Covid, and getting the vaccinations rolled out. However he promised he would do away with unending immigration.

Pankhuri I feel he’s a liar. I in truth can’t see how he nonetheless has a task – it baffles me each unmarried day. Partygate, but in addition earlier than that – the entire questionable issues he did and mentioned. He’s incompetent and irresponsible.

Dining across the dividers Pankhuri  (left) and Caroline


Caroline I used to be anxious first of all. However I’m so happy I did it. It’s higher to have a dialogue with anyone who doesn’t agree on the whole lot.

Pankhuri There have been moments after I sought after to press eject. However then it made me mirror that it doesn’t matter what facet of the divide you’re on, we will all be insular. Brexit confirmed me how a lot of a bubble I used to be in. We didn’t agree on politics, however we had histories of displacement. We walked to the station in combination.

Dining across the dividers Pankhuri  (left) and Caroline

Further reporting: Naomi Larsson

Caroline and Pankhuri ate at Camino in King’s Move, London

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