It's Friday morning, and I've already started counting the hours till freedom. Come 5:30 pm and I'll be out the front door of my office faster than you can say Speedy Gonzales.
All weekends are inaugurated in a similar fashion in our home. Friday nights are for take-aways and rented dvd's, enjoyed in the comfort of one's oldest and most de-elasticated tracks. (I know, Friday nights are meant for getting dressed up and dancing the night away, but please - after a week of writing direct mailers for yobs in Manchester I do not have the energy) (Also it's not as fun as Hitchcock and chow mein)
The next two days of the weekend are passed in an enjoyable haze of sleeping in, coffee, late lunches, meeting friends, naps, more movies, half hearted cleaning and grocery shopping. Ah! The bliss of the predictable.
But it's only been this way for the last 8-9 months. That's the wonderful thing about London. No one would dare suggest you work on a weekend. And the working week effectively ends on Friday afternoon when people head down to the local Rat and Parrot or Trout's Head for a pint or two or three. Unlike back home where weekends are two days of free labour employers extract, this good Christian country rests with their Lord.
And it's a liberating feeling. Knowing that you can make plans and stick to them (the number of times my husband has bought exhorbitantly priced tickets in black that have then been passed on to friends) I no longer need to keep a low profile all Friday long so I'm not asked to come in and work on a pitch for fairness creams for cats. And I no longer need to face the sly and leering comments of coworkers on Monday morning asking how my weekend was. (when they of course were slaving away at work)
Why I ask you? Why do we begrudge other people when they've managed to finish their work on time and head home? Why must we wink and nudge as these people go by, say that they aren't hard-working enough and doubt their commitment? Is it so terrible that people get two days to recharge and relax?
And then we come to a country where people know and understand that work isn't everything and that there is a life outside the rat race. And what do we do? We mock them! 'Ah these lazy Brits. Don't want to work hard yaar. They all leave sharp 5:30 and shout if you call them on weekends.'
Well if leaving at 5:30 sharp makes me less Indian and more Brit, then it's one part of my 'Indian'ness that I'll gladly give up. Tea anyone?