Jack Frost has arrived with a cold wind. I wrapped myself up and walked down to the river where everything was bright and shiny, the river, the ferry, the hills, the joggers and cyclists and I got carried away for a bit. How beautiful it all is, how comfortable and happy our lives are here in this small city where so many nationalities live and work and study together, where the ultra right demonstrators were outnumber 500 to one last time, and then I met the elderly Korean tennis coach swinging his racket. Predictably, we chatted about the weather and the cold wind and our grown up children and earthquakes and universities and - this happens regularly - Ireland. His wife, he told me, is one quarter Irish, so his children's blood is one eighth Irish blood. At this stage I laughed and mumbled something about blood being the same for everyone but maybe the DNA and how that could be a surprise etc. And he nodded and laughed as well before he said, whatever the science, at least we are not black.
What? I said. Are you serious? And before I would grab his tennis racket to hit him over the head, I walked on shaking, while he called after me, sorry, sorry, only joking. And of course all the right answers came to me much later.