One of the vocally racist old woman who live in my building got into the life with me. She had come up from the 7th floor and was moaning about it.

I said, 'If you just press the down button it wouldn't happen.'
She said, 'A coloured man did it, said he would take her for a ride up to the top.' She almost shuddered, saying she didn't need anyone to take her for a ride.

She then focused on the dirty walls of the lift, looking at a spray of dried something at shoulder height. Launching into a diatribe about how disgusting 'them who spit' are. Why can't they sue a tissue, she asked the now packed lift. I said I didn't think the marks were spit (I think I enjoy contradicting her, on reflection). They did look like the dried remains of a fizzy drink that had exploded.

She didn't mention any names or any ethnicity with the spitting comment. Anyone who was new to the area wouldn't have thought she was speaking a racist code.

Round these parts, though, 'spitting' is currency for 'how disgusting the Bengali community is'.

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