Since many Eastern European countries joined the EU, thousands of Eastern Europeans have come to the UK to try and find better paid jobs and to improve their lives especially Polish people, now everywhere in London you find shops that sell Polish food even main supermarkets are beginning to stock on Polish delicacies. Where ever you go now in London and other cities you are served by Eastern Europeans, some of them do not speak good English but what most of them share in common is that they are hard working, polite and respectful people that do actually serve you with a smile, something that is almost extinct in London these days. a couple of years ago I watched in the news a demonstration consisting of white, Asian & black British people demonstrating against the new immigrants coming to this country taking over their jobs, it was funny yet strange to see different colour communities come together for a change, within short years the Eastern Europeans have established themselves and taken over many businesses like plumbing, maintenance, building & decorating ..etc... how can anyone blame them? costumer service in this country was becoming really bad, you know you would be conned by cowboys if you had a blocked toilets or needed to paint & redecorate your home yet there was not much that you could do about it, now there are so many people that do it for a lot less and with a smile, few months ago a Bulgarian couple did some maintenance in my house, they were very polite did their job in record time did not waste their time taking tea breaks and I am sure their charges were very reasonable.
This past weekend I had 2 bad customer service experiences, the first one was in a corner shop run by Asians, I walk in straight to the counter, the lady working there is reading a newspaper, I stood there for a while waiting for her to look at me, she didn't, I said excuse, she looked at me, I said do you have so&so? she shook her head as to say no and went back to reading her newspaper without saying a word, I told her off and walked out the shop, funnily enough only then did she open her mouth and swore at me :o)
On Sunday I went to Curry's to look at simple cheap MP3 players, they were all on a low isle and attached to a security wire, I bent down and started looking at them, after a while I noticed someone was standing next to me, I looked up and it was the store detective watching me, I said all right? he said yes, few minutes later he was still there starring at me, I felt so uncomfortable, I stood up and said to him, look they are attached to a wire so even if I wanted to steal them it wont be possible, he said no sir I didn't mean blah blah blah, I told him that I was trying to buy something but he put me off by treating me as if I was shoplifter, I told him to go and perhaps keep an eye on people much younger than me that might be there to shoplift and I left the shop, again this man was from an ethnic minority, don't get me wrong many non whites in London are decent, the Turks and the Lebanese for example would serve you and treat you like a king.
So I am not surprised and in fact pleased to be served and looked after by Polish and other Eastern Europeans as I get value for money and respect which is in short supply here.
The children as I have mentioned before have been going to the Qatari Arabic school every Saturday, 2 weeks ago they had tests to check on their progress, my children used to go to English/Arabic full time school so they did have some back ground in Arabic & Islamic studies. My 8 year old daughter who is in Year2, Aida got 98% success rate in her assessment (MashAllah) on the other hand my prolific talker 6 year old son Amir who is in Year1 got 52% which is hardly worth celebrating :o) I told him that this was not good enough and that he needs to work harder, I know it can not be easy for kids brought up abroad as they have to live with 2 languages but it has to be done. anyway last week Amir had another assessment, so after they came back home I had this conversation with him:
Me: Amir how was your day? did you do well?
Amir: yes baba, Miss (teacher) was very pleased with me and said that I am the kindest student in the class.
Me: MashaAllah that is wonderful, I am proud of you, what else?
Amir: Miss said that I am nice and polite to everyone and very helpful.
Me: that's very well Amir but what about your assessment, how did that go?
Amir (after a short pause): Miss said that I am better than before.
Me: that is good but what rate did you get?
Amir (again after a short pause): I got 53%!!
Wow I feel like celebrating, he has improved by 1 % Allah bless him :o)