Friday, September 18, 2009

East European Family in KFC

I ate at a KFC today. I saw an East European couple in the restaurant, probably Polish. They had a small child, perhaps six years old. I found it fascinating that while the couple spoke to each other in their own language, their daughter frequently used English, even at such a young age.

The girl's father wiped the table before he sat down to eat with his daughter and her mother. East Europeans seem to recognise the value of cleanliness. As it happened, he was wearing the uniform of an hospital cleaner. I am sure this family, like most East Europeans remove their shoes when entering their home.

This family appeared like almost a model immigrant family. So often East Europeans seem to be so decent; hard working, clean living and generally moral (I suppose I mean conservative) in their values. I think it is wonderful that families like this from Poland and other East European countries are settling down here and having children.

I will admit that I have a tendency to romanticize East Europeans. Their cultures have their faults. I am well aware, as an alcohol misuse worker that many East Europeans drink far too much and are often arrested for drink driving. Yet I believe their exodus is enriching this nation. And may they bless us with their custom of shoes-off in homes.


Anonymous said...

Do Polish people definately have a tradition of shoes off in homes?

I only ask because I have been forced to change my cleaniing company, as the people running the previous company have moved into a new area of business and stopped cleaning.( I am talking about domestic cleaners at my flat).

Anyway, I am very happy with the new company and they do a great job and the girls are very trustworthy and friendly. The way it works is that 2 or 3 girls come and spend between 1 and 2 hours cleaning my flat. Most if not all of the girls are Polish, but they don't remove their shoes, and to be honest I would rather they did, but am unsure whether to ask them or not? As I say they are very nice and I don't want to cause any offence.

Can you offer any advice please?

The previous company worked a different way in that one girl cleaned the flat on her own and was there all morning. It was usually the same girl and, although she was British she alwys removed her shoes or boots and cleaned in her socks feet. She even left her footwesr outside the front door rather than in my flat. When I asked her about it, she said that all the girls working for that company always removed their shoes in peoples homes.

Do you think it is Ok to raise the subject with the new cleaners?

Celestial Fundy said...

Thanks for dropping in. Are you an anonymous who has visited before?

In Poland it is certainly the norm to remove shoes and change into slippers in homes.

Maybe these cleaners are just following the usual British custom.

It is your home. There is no reason why you should not ask the cleaners to remove their shoes.