Sorrows of the Moon—A Journey Through London by Iqbal Ahmed
Iqbal Ahmed roams the city, on foot and by bike, quietly observing and comparing–sometimes with wonder and sometimes with dismay–the real London with the city he imagined while growing up in Kashmir. Here is the East End of Bengali tailors and Indian restaurants, the near-deserted Fleet Street and forbidding Barbican, the buzzing electronic shops of Tottenham Court Road, the book fairs of Bloomsbury, the snobbery of Hampstead and the demotic liveliness of Camden Town. During the course of his travels, we meet a variety of displaced men and women trying to find a place among the English—Anwar the Bengali tailor, Zack the educated Pathan who hates working in the City, Solomon the Nigerian doorman, Kasim the Egyptian kiosk vendor, the Asian sub-postmistress who bullies employees and customers alike, Fabio the Brazilian private cab driver, Ali the Moroccan bookshop porter, and Isabel the Venezuelan kept woman who, after her wealthy lover abandons her, finds refuge in a community of South American cleaners.
By turns poignant and funny, Sorrows of the Moon shows us the underside of a wide range of working milieus that we all too often take for granted. And it gently illuminates the plight of people who have escaped from one world into another in search of freedom, only to find confinement of another kind.
demotic: adj formal used by or popular with most ordinary people
milieu: the things and people that surround you and influence the way you live and think. eg. She never felt happy in a student milieu.