A long time ago, I was travelling in Ireland in the days when bank cards didn’t work abroad and there were no mobile phones.
My boyfriend and I ran out of money and realised we would have to head for the next ferry. We hitched from Cork to Dublin, but missed the 11am ferry and had 12 hours with no money and nothing to eat.
A kind cafe owner took pity on us and gave us a nice plate of sandwiches, cake and a pot of tea–all for nothing! Now that’s a real Irish generosity for you.
I was travelling around India alone. One evening at twilight, I caught a tuk-tuk from a Buddhist shrine back to my accommodation in Mumbai. I felt rather nervous as I’d stayed out longer than anticipated and was unsure about being out after dark.
As we entered the city, the tuk-tuk driver pulled over to the side of the road to buy some street food. I assumed he was grabbing a snack for himself, but to my surprise, he handed the food to me! He spoke not a word of English and I not a word of HIndi, but we shared the food with not a word spoken, just smiles. I was so touched by his kindness.
In response to the story, Alone in India, Patel has played on the idea of food, heritage, communication and memory by inviting viewers to join him in a shared eating experience, via a television screen from his childhood.
Erin Patel is a Photographer and Arts Educator. His personal work centres around his experience of being raised in a mixed heritage household; exploring themes of nostalgia and diaspora within the Irish and Indian cultural identity.
Having moved from hectic London with a three-day old baby and a boy just about to start school, Norwich has inspired me by its kindness. People chat to each other. Its creativity has inspired me to be myself and to be bold and do what I love, make, and inspire confidence. So thank you Norwich, you’re one of a kind!
I had just moved to Germany and was feeling very homesick. One day, I wandered up to a church. The service had finished and the vicar came out, saw me and started chatting. I told him I was experiencing homesickness. He invited me to have lunch with him, his wife and his son. I never saw them again after this, but have never forgotten their hospitality that day.
This time last year in 2018, I was on CAPD dialysis. It was very tough on my whole family. My wife was the sole support for us and my daughter was dealing with life while watching her daddy permanently unwell.
One morning at 3am, the hospital phoned and offered me a kidney transplant. I leapt at the chance and had the operation. Within a week, I was home convalescing.