The first chapter of The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith describes the embassy. The building is located near a health center and some private residences in the neighborhood of Willesden, North West London. The embassy is a large villa surrounded by a red brick wall over which a shuttlecock can often be seen flying back and forth. The Cambodian flag is displayed, and a brass plaque on the door says the building is the embassy of Cambodia.
Fatou walks past the embassy for the first time on her way to a swimming pool. She is usually the youngest and the only African person at the pool. Fatou remembers learning how to swim at the Carib Beach Resort in Ghana, where she worked as a chambermaid for a time. While she walks past the embassy, Fatou sees the shuttlecock flying over the wall of the embassy as people inside play badminton.
The unnamed narrator remembers the sudden way the embassy appeared in Willesden a few years before. The people there were surprised, as embassies ar...