The following testimonies were submitted for “In Limbo” although not published and their authors acknowledged in the book.
I would like to share my story. I’m Aga from Poland, here in U.K. since 2007, living with my unmarried partner. We have an eight year old daughter. Since she was born I was able to work only part time as most of the time I was looking after her. I applied for Permanent Residency but I was refused.
In 2008, having broken up a four-year-old relationship and resigned from my job as a professional folk dancer, I arrived in London full of excitement and hope.
I started out as an au-pair, but I was determined to launch my librarian career as I had just gained my Bachelor’s Degree in Hungary. Quite quickly I did manage to secure a Library Assistant job and I was soon promoted, so I became a Team Leader in a different branch.
I came to the UK nearly two years ago and have lived in Bristol ever since. I fell in love with the place and the people almost immediately, and it didn’t take very long before I began to put down roots and started thinking that maybe I could picture a future in this country.
My husband came to the UK because he was offered a bartender job at the TGI Fridays after he came third place in the European bartending final.
He came alone and went to three different restaurants to see in which one he could see himself work and live. I came to choose the schools for the kids and we followed him a year later. I was lucky as I was able to help my kids at the beginning, and I have got my GTC number, which means that my teacher’s degree was accepted and I started to work for the City Council’s Minority Group Services teaching Italian.
My experience of xenophobia took me completely by surprise.
Growing up in 1970’s as a British born subject with an English mother and Indian father in the South of England, there was a background of racism, with National Front marches in Brighton contributing to a sense of otherness. When I settled in Norwich in the late 1980’s, I was amazed at the lack of racism. I felt at ease in Norwich and made my home in the area, contributing to the community, attending UEA as a mature student and raising my son and daughter.