Norfolk is a small place. Not physically small. But it is a small place.
Despite being the fifth largest county in England, less than a million people live there. Of these people, 24% (compared with a national average of 16.5%) hold no passport. The movement of people in and out of the county is somewhat limited. Within the county, it is a joke. However, upon further break down, statistical data (from the 2011 census) supports the notion that Norfolk is not particularly diverse. 92.4% of the population are white British, which is in stark contrast to 79.8% of the national population. Look closer and only around 3.6% of the Norfolk population list themselves as anything other than white. This is 4 times lower than the national average. In summary, Norfolk is not a very ethnically diverse place.
Why am I talking about Norfolk? It is where I grew up. It’s where my family lives and as Christmas approaches, I have returned here to visit them. I love to travel the world and to meet people from every country. Sometimes, people here are not so accommodating.
Yesterday a package arrived at my house. It was sealed and the post mark said that it was from Iran. It arrived much earlier than normal, despite my family home lying towards the end of the postman’s route. It turned out that he had taken a special detour in order to offload the package as soon as possible. Since he picked it up from the depot in the morning, he had been rather keen to be rid of it. I couldn’t help but smile.
A normal package suddenly became mysterious when someone was confused about the place that it came from. I blame mass media for this. My ‘mysterious’ package now sits under the Christmas tree, waiting to be opened on Christmas day.
To my good friend in Iran (or Pakistan), thank-you. It has made me happy before I even know what it is!