Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Asylum Part 1

For audio click here 
The offices on Newport Road were grey and cold and that was reflected in the faces of the staff working there. 
“Yes,” the woman behind the counter said. 
“Um, I’m here for a passport interview,” I replied. 
“Take a ticket and sit over there.” 
There was no one else in the waiting room so taking a ticket seemed a bit pointless but the woman was not someone I wanted to pick a fight with so I took a ticket and sat over there. Particles of dust floated in the weak sunbeams that did little to brighten up the place. How times had changed; this used to be a place to interview immigrants, now it was used to check up on people wanting to leave the country. 
The electronic display read 751, I looked at my ticket, 767. Where were the other fifteen people?
“Mr. Davies,” a little man appeared through one of the doors.
“Yes,” I said, quite aware that I hadn’t given my name when I got in. 
“We’ll see you now.” 
I followed him into the room and took a seat in the chair opposite a panel that consisted of the little man, a fierce looking woman in glasses and what looked like a badly made wig and a youngish chap with a very severe haircut. 
“So, you’re applying for a passport,” little man said. 
“Yes, I want to visit friends in Europe.”
“Friends, you say?” Wig woman said.
“Yes,” I said and got out the documentation. 
The three of them looked through the names of the people I’d be staying with or seeing on my trip. 
“Quite a schedule,” Wiggy said. 
“Well yes, I’m not sure when I’ll get the chance again.”
“And you won’t be meeting anyone else on your travels?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I might bump into people I know. I can’t see the future.” 
“Mr. Davies,” the skinhead spoke for the first time. “As you know, these are very dark times. Not the place for flippant comments.” 
“Our records show that you didn’t vote for Brexit, is that right?” Wiggy said.
“I thought it was a private ballot,” I said. 
“Just answer the questions please,” Skinhead pointed his finger at me. 
“I voted to remain.”
“So would you describe yourself as being pro-European.” I looked at Wiggy.
“I suppose I would yes.” 
“So, you are anti-British?” 
I rolled my eyes. You know you can be pro-European and pro-British.” I said. The little man scoffed. 
“Okay,” they said in unison. They each ticked a box on the paper in front of them. 
“I think we have seen enough. Mr. Davies, we won’t be recommending you for a passport today.” Wiggy said. she handed me back my documents. 
“What? That’s not fair!” 
“Thank you, Mr. Davies. You’ll get official confirmation in the post during the next few days.” 
“Wait,” I said, “can I appeal.”
The little man stood up, opened a different door from the one I had come in and led me out to the back exit. 
“Thank you,” he said. 
“Fuck you,” I replied.  

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