Saturday, 5 July 2008

Return of the Non-Native

Me in my own grotto. From here I fail to work miracles.

Gatters. The London airport that's nowhere near London, and yet, conveniently located for those of us who spend our Blighty-side time on the south coast.
Fratton to Gatters can be direct, unless you travel, as we did, unfeasibly early.
Nil desperandum.

Gatters. The chavport. No, seriously, the charter airlines fly out of there, so mixed with the transatlantic flights are the short hops. Easy Jet, package tours to Tenerife, Majorca, Ibiza, Costa del Shite.
Here, you see the big hoop earrings, the keeper rings, the mushroom cuts and nearly-single-strand ponytails. The Adidas trackies, the sunbed tans, the features of the moneyed underclass.

And now, the flights to and from Eastern Europe. Eastern Europeans are the new Asians.
In the sixties, before the term 'PC' was on anyone's lips, you'd hear all the time how 'they' were 'coming over and taking our jobs'. They were Indians and Pakistanis, the coming over possibly happened a couple of generations previously and the jobs were the ones Britons didn't want anyway. Asians worked hard for a living, building up corner shops, driving the buses and feeding us with the Indian and Pakistani food we craved and of course, kept the rag trade and telephony going.

Now 'they' are coming over and undercutting building and plumbing services. Where once 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' showed us the phenomenon of British building workers taking up contracts in Germany, now Poles are coming over to be underpaid in Britain. And then there's the prostitution industry. Does anyone really want to claim that only British women should work in this particular market?

I must admit that I didn't believe it myself the first time I encountered a busload of Eastern European sex-trade workers jamming up the toilets of some E-road service stop, and yet, however much I argued with our bus driver that this couldn't be the case, it was me, not him who wasn't making sense.

But oh well. It's just an airport, the shopping's not as good, nor the restaurants as nice as at Heathrow, but then less temptation. And at least the trains are right there and mostly, they run on time.

No comments: