Posted in Uncategorized, tagged drinking, London on March 21, 2010|
Leave a Comment »
I was glad to have a drink with samba and Marcelli before I left inn the park; they’d worked hard and never caused me any problems, which is what kitchen employees tend to do. Getting drunk on Mongolian vodka and then leaving them to clean the kitchen I did feel bad about though
What always amazes me are the backgrounds these guys always have. I remember having doctors, lawyers, nuclear engineers and even fur traders working for me. I fact one of the chefs, Batzorig, the guy that gave me the vodka is leaving to teach engineering at a university in Ulan Bator.
This has been one of the best things about working in London, just the sheer diversity of the people I meet and the things that I’ve been able to learn from them – usually just how to swear in exotic languages.
Marcelli swears a lot, samba swears very little, and if he does he does it in polish, which is unusual considering he is from Senegal. Both of them are the kindest mildest mannered people I have ever met. I don’t know a lot about Marcelli as he speaks only 3 or 4 words in English. Samba speaks very good English when given a chance and last night told me a lot about his life.
He tells me about how his father was a director for Shell in Senegal and he led a good life travelling often to Paris to have holidays. He was a qualified Accountant but went in to teaching and married a lady from Ivory Coast where he moved to take a job. As war broke out the government stopped paying teachers and the only option for him was to return to Senegal to find work, leaving his pregnant wife and child.
Without work in Senegal he became an economic migrant and came to the UK to find work and as many people in a similar situation ended up washing dishes. He doesn’t feel bad about this or thinks that he is above this, he does is job well and with utter conviction. That’s why we all love samba so much and he gains so much respect from all of the people around him.
But you can see in his face that he’s not happy, not really happy anyway. He tells me that he really just wants to go home and I don’t blame him. He asks me for advice, how he can do something better or achieve something more and I feel touched that someone older and more experienced in life has asked me for advice. I don’t have much advice to give though. I wish I had.
He tells me that if you know nothing you think you know everything and if you know a lot you think you know nothing. I tell him he knows how to articulate himself well in English. He likes that.
The whole time Marcelli is listening to this intently, not understanding anything but enjoying the vodka never the less.
Read Full Post »