Friday, 19 December 2014
I'm Not Polish
It's finally happened!!! All my life I've always heard about how grumpy and miserable the British are, but up until last week I just couldn't see it. Everyone I've met so far has been so wonderful. Which is a good thing I guess, I'm not really complaining. It's just that grumpy people are always to entertaining to watch. Plus, who would read a blog post about all the jolly old town folk that I meet!
So let me set the scene... I have a friend of mine who has a successful window cleaning business, and as I'm free on Fridays... and broke, I help him out. We drove out far into the country side to this Hamlet (meaning a small collecting of around 10 houses, new word I learnt!). Last time he was there one of the homeowners requested for his windows to be cleaned next time around. Fair enough. So we pull up to the house and the wife comes out and she is delighted to have her windows cleaned.
I walk up and stand next to my boss as he exchanges pleasantries with the lady. As you would normally do, he introduces me, "Ahh this is James, he'll be helping me out today."
She turns to me and her smile instantly melts away and she turns back to my boss and snaps "He's not Polish is he??" I couldn't tell if she was joking or not so I just chuckled. My boss was taken back by that too and jokingly said "Oh no, he's from St. Lucia so he's really suffering in the cold right now!" (It was very cold). A decent person would say something along the lines of "Awww bless, you must be absolutely freezing, you poor thing! Can I get you a cup of tea?" as I have had said to me multiple times.
However she retorts with "Well England has plenty of things that your little island doesn't have!" How do you even respond to that. I sure didn't know how... without staying strictly professional of course. I doubt she even knows where St. Lucia is, let alone that it's part of the Commonwealth. Even my boss who is an absolute wordsmith didn't know what to say. We didn't have to worry about any awkward silence though, just the awkwardness as she went off on a rant fuelled with political bigotry. "I can't stand all these weak-willed politicians letting in all this rift-raft into the country, so that they can just sit on their behinds and claim benefits, that I, a tax payer am paying for!"
Repulsive. Look lady, we're just here to clean your windows, not have a referendum! The ignorance didn't stop there though, she continues, "I have never travelled, and have absolutely NO desire to leave England either."
"You've never wanted to taste the wonderful cuisines around the world? Or meet new people? Relax on a beautiful beach in the Caribbean?"
"England has plenty of good food!"
That was her response. 'England has plenty of good food.' Have you ever heard such ignorance? Who thinks like that? Her house obviously wasn't the only thing that survived through the dark ages. So there isn't a country in the world that could compare to her precious England. How close minded. Don't get me wrong, I love England, but some of my fondest memories have been whilst enjoying all what other countries have to offer. Riding Dolphins in Mexico. Turtle watching in Grenada. Snorkelling in Barbados. Parasailing in St. Lucia. Coasting through Puerto Rico. Cruising through the Caribbean islands. Priceless.
Every country has it faults, especially England. But every country also has amazing things to offer. That would be my message to her. Oh yeah, and that I am actually a full British citizen too. I would of told her that but I decided to leave her with that look of ignorance.
Well I hope you enjoyed this post! Please share, like and tweet it, and tell as many people about it as you can and I'll love you forever! :) Sign up to get an email subscription as to when a new article comes out, which will be next when I force more of my opinions on you! Comment down below any experiences that you have had with racism!