Lives in Pontefract. From Klaipeda, Lithuania
2011, April. First time I came here, I came to London to work in the fields which I would never ever do in my life again. My background is – I am from a small village, so I thought, “extra money to go on fields for three months, easy”. I thought it’s temporary, to see what it’s like. My sisters were already here but I thought I’ll never even leave the country, but I’ve been here now eight years. And, I got married to an English man.
The first time I came over here, it seemed like two such different worlds – Lithuania and England. How they were doing things, how people here go on strikes. In my country, I think it’s changing now. But, we are more patient and we don’t moan. You just get on with things. Here, even judging at work – we used to work with our head down, you don’t complain about what you are doing. You look at your British colleague – “I’m not doing this, I’m not getting paid for that”. I used to find it really weird.
Now I can say that I feel at home, especially after we bought the house. We have been living here for our third year now, so that feeling when we got the keys - it’s our love nest, our kingdom. Here is my home now, that’s how I feel. Even when I come back from mum’s, I feel relaxed here. My bed, my stuff. Everything is mine. Sometimes when you spend two or three weeks away, you are looking forward to going back.
A few of my friends are applying for British citizenship, but I am happy who I am. It won’t change anything. I like certain British aspects. Now, my mum laughs – sometimes I do look more British when I buy certain things, it probably rubs on you after so long.
At the minute I would say I’m here permanently. What scares me most is if I were to go to Germany, I need to know the language. I wouldn’t go somewhere where I can’t speak the language. The older you are, the harder it is to adapt. Sometimes I am jealous, I wish I could be like people who can travel the world and adapt everywhere. I am too shy sometimes. I like having comfort, some people like to go out of their comfort zone. I would like to, thinking and dreaming about it, but I like where I am.