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Jarosław Jankowicz


To this day I actually haven’t realized the meaning of the word "emigrant". I always associated it with seers, who somewhere abroad, during the Partitions, wrote their works which in later centuries were fodder for bored high school students. An emigrant - for me remote, absent, living somewhere, certainly better-off, comfortable at parties. Sometimes will shed a tear at the old oil lamp, will muse and muse until he produces another volume of memoirs.

Personally, I think that emigration occurs when there is longing. When I realize how much I leave: people, issues, experiences, giving up for something else. Will it be better - you never know. I will say when I get back, arrive, stay, cast my mind back...

If the English were the Polish ...

I’ve been in England for almost a year. Yes, it is one of the areas for which reportedly hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people, for various reasons abandoned their homeland. Maybe it won’t be the high-sounding Poland, maybe it's just ordinary Pabianice, a gray town with tired people ... unemployed, standing in a line at the bank just to ask a lady wearing a jacket and a white shirt: "Has the pension been already transferred? "." No, not yet ... "- answers sadly the lady, looking from above the computer.

England neither impresses me, nor moves particularly. It's kind of my temporary present with people, different experiences and problems (because problems do not disappear themselves, sometimes they look just a little different). When I worked in Poland in the hospital as a nurse, I happened to complain about work, financial conditions, the organization of this one of the three parts of life, because it is how much we spend working. Now I reminisce longingly all this trouble to help compatriots, whose health played a trick on them. I miss very much the atmosphere at work, which I will never have here. Why? Indeed ... If the English were the Polish ... But they are not ... They are themselves, and we are ourselves. " the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence " – what a wise proverb !!! It should be written on the first page of some wise book.

The language border

My emigration is not only the physical absence from the home country. I emigrate alone inside myself when having a day off from work I prefer to stay at home not to turn on the TV, not to expose the psyche on the next phrases in a foreign language. A language that I didn’t get to love, that I pick up with great difficulty. For comparison, I can think of a physiological barrier in the placenta when a woman carries under her heart a small Pole. The blood in the placenta will deliver oxygen and nutrients, but often stop what should not get into the child's body. So, in a nutshell, looks my English learning. I do not absorb it as coelenterata. Passively ... Nothing can be learnt without any effort, and the effort of learning forces in some artificial way to love what is not so beloved. Maybe I use too many complexities. In fact homesickness in my case expresses precisely in what I write here.

English manners in Polish eyes

For the last year I have been able to explore the picturesque places of the region, where I live. I was happy to admire the stately walls of the Oxford University - as old as the hills ... I would love to see also Cambridge. I heard of Cambridge so much, especially in times of high school, when the art teacher to calm the class down, with black humor said loudly: "Am I at Cambridge?", looking out of the window at the special school, whose name was coined like that at the time of my education in high school. I passed my matriculation exams in "Cambridge", because there was not enough space in my own high school ... Maybe that's why I would like so much to see the real bastion of knowledge, where many wise heads gained recognition ... sipping English tea.

I have very nice recollections of the first days after arrival, when everything seemed to be colorful, especially people dressed in colors different than brown, gray, navy blue and black. I admit that it was here that I learned to go out having a tracksuit on. In Poland I would be ashamed to go out in flip-flops to a nearby store. Perhaps I would make a fool of myself under the watchful gaze of observers from the windows of the first floor ... Laughter fills me.

What else impresses me in England? Certainly not tea time, of which I thought in Poland that it really exists. I imagined it then literally, as in advertisements, that suddenly everyone drops their job at the same time ... Workers working on the 23rd floor of a skyscraper, secretaries in offices that make a pause in work and as one man sip their national drink from cups, mugs, of course, headed by queen Elizabeth II ... Oh, naive ... Unfortunately, it is not the case.

What makes me always smile, in turn, is the human kindness on the street when a stranger can pass me on the sidewalk saying the famous "Hi!" (Pronounced: hiiii!) seeing me for the first and last time in his life. Sometimes, however, words of kindness, especially at work, are artificially abused. For example, when for the tenth time in a row during the day the manageress, who actually has little interest in me, asks: "Alright ???". Sometimes I feel like calling out: "Nothing is alright." But I know that it does not always pay off, especially when you’re the second category, you’re not an Englishman.

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Keep calm and carry on

A country where so much is said about discrimination and tolerance, in the reality of everyday small and large matters, is not like that. For example, because I am a Pole, I am not entitled to go to the home country for a leave for 3-4 weeks, reportedly because Poland is so close ... This is the reasoning that I hear. Would be different if I was Filipino or Indian. It's, after all, more than a two-hour flight by plane, so you should do this kindness to colleagues from work. Oh, if Poland was at least 20 light years from England, certainly I could spend there a little longer leave ...

For over a year I’ve been waiting for the recognition of my qualifications and being granted the local branch number. And ... although the European Union, in which my nation has engrained themselves, allows me to develop my professional role throughout its area, being here, I already know how much it means to have a degree from the so-called Bologna process university.

For the time being I’m improving my skills in the profession of a caretaker in a nursing home for people with dementia. First I completed a half-year training in conservation of flat surfaces and not only ... Quiet occupation, with no exposure to special care of the employer, although poorly paid and poorly respected. As a caretaker I can meet different needs of my charges and members of families ending their stay as the so-called residents. I like most of them, though often they don’t understand me, and vice versa. Dementia is a terrible disease, sometimes I'm afraid that I will fall ill with it, too. Fortunately, the mother tongue cannot be forgotten, the same applies to the home country, which supposedly is so close but at the same time so far. The people who created the image of my little homeland, and who continue to struggle with what fate brings them.
At this moment I am here. For how long - for a while, maybe longer? I don’t know, but if I come back, I decided that I will not leave anywhere permanently.