Friday, 21 November 2008

Observations from England

Just back from five days in England. On Sunday I flew in to Liverpool Airport then made my way across the Pennines, then down to London, taking in Haydock Park Racecource and Doncaster Airport along the way. And not once - staying three nights in hotels, taking numerous buses and taxis and eating fast food all the way - did I come across a single Polish barman, chambermaid, driver or waitress. Until I got to London, where the streets seem as full of Polish migrants as they did last summer.

Me [to barman at The Green, Shepherd's Bush, immediately detecting his Polish accent]:
Where is Sir from?
Barman: Toruń
Me: How long has Sir been in London?
Barman: Three years.
Me: Has Sir any plans to go home?
Barman: No. What for?

Toruń, as it happens, has had a dramatic fall in unemployment over the past three years (it's now significantly lower than London's. Toruń: 5.4% and falling. London: 6.8% and rising). But people get stuck in a groove while economic change happens around then.

From Shepherd's Bush Market on the Hammersmith and City Line (top) onwards to St Pancras to catch the train to Luton Airport. A nice shot taken shortly after sunset.

This time last year:
Krakow in early snow
Winterreisen and escapism
Let progress march, though not through my back yard

No comments: