I was fascinated by my experiences on Boxing Day. I was a bit lost in Kingston, trying to find the Wimbledon football ground on foot (Wimbledon play at the Kingstonian ground). I didn't recognise the road, but, using my incredible inate sense of direction and natural navigation skills, I set off along the road.
After a while, I realised that I had no idea where I was.
I popped into the local shop to ask directions of the Indian shopkeeper. 'Football ground? No, there are no football grounds round here, mate.' Why do Indians always call me 'mate'? 'But this is Kingston, isn't it? Kingstonian? Wimblkedon FC?' 'No, mate, the only football ground I know is miles away - back the way you've come from until the main road, then turn right and keep on going until you see it. But it's nowhere near here!
Hmmm. That wasn't too encouraging. So I went into the off licence and asked the Afro-Caribbean shopkeeper. 'Football ground? No. I don't kniow any football ground.' I was beginning to wonder whether I was in the right town. 'There is one football ground over the other side of the town. You are driving? You're on foot!!! Well, I don't think you can walk it. It's way down there to the main road and then up to the right some distance. But you can't walk there!' 'Kingstonian? Wimbledon FC?' 'Well, which you want? Kingston or Wimbledon?!'
So, same directions, but also same lack of convincing knowledge. Outside the shop, I spotted a white man. 'Wimbledon football ground? Yeah, down the main road and turn right and you'll see it. It's only about a half a mile away.' And it was. 10 minutes walk.
So why don't local shopkeepers know where their local football team plays? Do minority communities not support football? Is it only white persons that walk anywhere?