Weds 5-9.30pm 🍴  Thurs-Sat 12-3pm / 5-9.30pm

Overcoming Obstacles

Love blinded us at first, and it’s just as well it did I suppose. When we first met, Yeshi had nothing to his name but a mocked-up birth certificate and a document for travel that contained a photo of him and a signature that were both glued in with Pritt stick. The Indian government issues this so-called Identity Certificate to Tibetans living within their borders. Key details were hand-written inside, including Yeshi’s height, which was given as 1.57m (almost half a metre out, give or take).

Neither of us saw the obstacles that we faced as a couple. I was too happy enjoying all the food, and Yeshi was busy cooking up dreams of a new life in the modern West. He imagined that Oxford would be just like New York, where his brother Nyima had been living for many years. 

Both of us saw only the opportunities. Our unborn kids would help us with any language barriers that we faced – fluent as they would be in both English and Tibetan. Yeshi would be a brilliantly hands-on dad, cooking all the meals and fixing all the things. 

Our married life here in the ancient city of Oxford has turned out very differently to the one that we both imagined. For starters, there isn’t a single skyscraper in sight. Our kids’ Tibetan is still poor – they have failed to resolve for us the language issues that we continue to grapple with. And Yeshi turned out to be a useless stay-at-home father, burning as he was with frenzied ambition.

But that’s just the start of it. Immigrant life is hard. Separated from family and friends, communicating in a language that he learned only as an adult, and unqualified for most of the jobs – it’s been an uphill struggle. Yeshi’s horizons are broader than most, but it’s clear that many people take him for a person of limited life experience. Sometimes he enjoys these challenges, but there are moments when everything feels very heavy.

Recently, the Home Office denied Yeshi’s brother’s application to join us at Taste Tibet on a Skilled Worker Visa despite his nearly 20 years experience in kitchens in New York. What a difference it would make to Yeshi to have Nyima living and working with him here in the UK! We keep going. Overcoming obstacles is now a way of life for us – we’ve become expert problem-solvers over the years.

We’re open the usual hours this week, as follows:

Wednesday: 5-9.30pm (dinner only)
Thursday – Saturday: 12-3 (lunch) / 5-9.30pm (dinner)

Our menu is out now – check the website for full details. Come for dine in, hot food takeaway or freezer food, our chilli oil and signed copies of our cookbook.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Julie and Yeshi

Opening hours this week:
Weds: 5-9.30pm
Thurs – Sat: 12-3pm 🥢 5-9.30pm
☏ 01865 499318

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