The last time I was here was January 2007; pregnant with Kavya, accompanying Kevin as he interviewed for jobs at Oxford and Cambridge. He was offered the Oxford job, and we came THIS close to taking it -- a different life.
I had so much anxiety, flying into London on a Sri Lankan passport. None of that now, and immigration pretty much waved me through, aside from the guy being fascinated by the fact that I was there for a SF convention, and wanting to know if I actually made a living from my writing (some years), and whether I liked Iain Banks (of course).
One element that I remember -- if Kev had taken the job, the U.K. would have let me move here with him as his domestic partner, even though we weren't married. Very civilized.
On the other hand, there is so much immigration theater. Sign after sign after sign telling us that border controls are tight, that you can get into serious trouble if you try to come in without papers. As if people don't know this. It seems cruel, when they're already suffering anxiety. How about a nice video screen showing London tourism movies? That would be nice.
What would the world look like if we simply allowed everyone to move as freely from one country to another as inhabitants of one American state travel to another? It's all equally arbitrary, after all. Accidents of birth.