“My name Hussain Abdulla. I living in England for almost five years now. I work as cleaner in Super Mall. My wife name Sarah Abdulla. We together have two daughters and one pride, our son. Mohammed, Zullah and Rafiqa are children`s names…”
A feeling of embarrassment crosses over your face as you look back at your old times and read excerpts from your childhood. The silly mistakes you used to make, the unreadable handwriting and the funny grammar that you know that you no longer have. The maturity that is in you right now makes your previous immaturity look balmy and then you laugh. Laugh and smile at old times. Old times that are now golden moments you wish you could have much more of. But not me, because my story is somewhat different. I don`t dare to look back at old times in fear of humiliating myself in front of the mirror.
I`m sorry, I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Harry Clayton, and I am a born and brought up Briton.
14th of March 1991
“I come to England from India on 1956 with wife. India was a tough place for us Muslims. The Hindus and the Muslims always fighting when I live there. I participated in many wars and have been shot in the heart, but I survived! Why to live in such bad condition? That`s why Mrs. and I leave India and come to England for better life, but did not get what I have expected…”
Since April 1999, I have been working as a linguist. I live in central London. My job requires an excellent English vocabulary and a proper grammar. English language-history is my specialization and I work in different subcategories within my profession, like for instance research on cultural influence on the language, political influence, international implementation, etc.
1st of October 1993
“I come to England for better life, but no better life over here. I was a soldier in my country, her I am only bathroom cleaner. I sweep toilets and clean after other people`s shit. Today it been seven years since we come from India. People respect us in India. We have friends and family, but nobody over here. Nobody understand me. I know I not perfect in English, but I try. All Englishmen are fools! They talk bad about us foreigners. One day, when we all foreigners leave, they shall realize that they need us to clean their dirty toilets. I try to build the language correct inside me like a tower. I place words on top of each other, like bricks on top of each other on wet cement…”
I used to be a construction worker before. Placing day and night bricks on top of wet cement wasn’t really fun. And in addition to that, a lot of my colleagues were first generation foreigners, who could barely speak proper English. I get very annoyed when foreigners come to England and try to make their own language as the official language of Britain. A communication problem resulted in death of a fellow Briton colleague in a construction area in 1995. Communication is important!
31st of December 1993
“Skin-colour and English is what matters for Englishmen. I try to build the language inside me, but people don`t understand what I say. They see only if you are white or black, can speak English or cannot speak English. I miss my home. My children are born and brought up English. They embarrassed by me. They call me dad instead of papa, and say I should say nothing in parents` meeting and in front of people when I am with my children. What kind of kids has God punished me with? For New Year my resolution is to get a English job. I want to prove that I learn English and speak well English. My kids shall no more embarrass by me. I start today!”
I have no connections with my family. In fact, I don’t even know, where or who my family members are. I am an orphan and was found left in a park. My spouse and I have three children together. We live in a house just big enough to shelter us.
5th of January 1994
“I very happy today. I have got my first respectful job. I am a construction worker. My wife says my English is getting improved day by day. Soon, I can probably get a proper English job! But this country not that good. I got ten refusals before this job. I think it was because of my foreign name. Therefore, I changed my name and then I got a job in one go. I didn’t know that changing my identity would help me get a job. Now what`s left is to speak English properly.”
Harry is actually my nickname for Harrison. Tomorrow I shall be celebrating my 60th birthday. Doctors say that it is a miracle that I have lived for such a long time. Actually, I have a heart problem and have suffered a severe heart attack before, but I survived.
1st of October 1999
“Today I am very proud and pleased of myself. I, Hussain Abdulla, has managed to achieve my first English job with dignity. I will be from now on working as a linguist. But as the law of nature says, to achieve something, you have to sacrifice something. And I have made sacrifices to gain and earn respect.”
You look through the rest of the diary and smile before you shut it. Your heart pounds and your mind wanders away in past thoughts and dreams. Then, you shut your eyes and feel the tears rolling down your cheeks. Golden times, you whisper. A feeling of embarrassment crosses over your face as you look back at your old times and read excerpts from your childhood. The silly mistakes you used to make, the unreadable handwriting and the funny grammar that you know that you no longer have. The maturity that is in you right now makes your previous immaturity look balmy and then you laugh. Laugh and smile at old times. Old times that are now golden moments you wish you could have much more of. But not me, because my story is somewhat different. My name is Harry Clayton, and I am a born and brought up Briton.