Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Starting fresh

I went looking for a new hairdresser near work last week. I'm not quite sure why men's hairdressers in London all seem to charge either £5 or £25, amounts which put me off for different reasons. After a search, I found a place on Golborne Road that charged £15, expensive enough to instil confidence yet not too painful to pay.

My new Polish hairdresser studied law before moving here several years ago. She had hoped to get into her field but found it too hard and is thus still hairdressing. I empathised and felt a little fortunate too. I don't think my qualifications get enough respect here but at least I can work in the field I trained in.

When I left the salon, I almost collided with one of my students in front of the entrance. 'Teacher look very nice!' he complimented. Gosha had put wax in my hair and I must have looked a little edgy because I was offered a wide selection of drugs while walking back down Portobello Road to work.

I was heading back to help a student write a CV. Her husband's employer had been taken over by another cleaning company and he had been told to provide a CV in days or lose his job. I found out that he'd been a goldsmith in Sudan in a prosperous family business.

Despite Gosha's obvious flair for hairdressing, the afternoon left me wondering why people are so willing to move to the UK and start at the very bottom.

5 comments:

Knuffy's Owner said...

Yeah, it's a really tough call whether to stay in your own country or move to one where the standard of living is higher but where your rank in the hierarchy is lower.

I just thank my lucky stars my parents managed to move up the hierarchy before I was old enough to notice!

Joe said...

You mean the move from LA to Sydney?

Knuffy's Owner said...

No, even in Sydney.

Joe said...

haha... where did you live before moving in behind Skyline shops?

Knuffy's Owner said...

After LA we lived in a one-bedroom flat in Melbourne for 10 mths (I actually tracked it down and took a photo of it on my first trip back to Melbourne in Feb. this year) and then another small flat in Randwick when we moved to Sydney.

But it wasn't just about where we lived - It just isn't easy to get a job in your professional field when you're a newcomer. But luckily my dad did sometime before I started school so I didn't have to spend my childhood weekends sitting behind a market stall!!