Gilbert, a Jamaican, fought for Britain in the Second World War and now lives in London. He watches some other Jamaican men arrive on the Empire Windrush, a large boat which brought hundreds of Caribbeans to Britain after the war.
You see, most of the boys were looking upwards. Their feet were stepping on London soil for the first time [...] but it was wonder that lifted their eyes. They finally arrive in London Town. And, let me tell you, the Mother Country was bewildering these Jamaican boys. See them pointing at the train that rumbles across a bridge. They looked shocked when billowing black smoke puffed its way round the white washing hung on drying lines. Come, they had never seen houses so tall, all the same. And what is that? A chimney? They have fire in their house in England? No! And why everything look so dowdy? Even the sunshine can find no colour but grey. Man, the women look so glum.
Andrea Levy, Small Island, 2004.