For the first decade of my life everything seemed perfect. My family had everything I could think of and I considered us wealthy. We had a nice flat, a dog, all the food we needed, holidays and courses after school. I always thought nothing bad can ever happen to us. Tragedy was something that touches other people. For couple of years after the safe bubble dissolved into nothingness, we still kept the appearance of abundance. I believe at first financial troubles were a well kept secret of my father and then it was my mother who didn't want to worry us. As if hell at home wasn't enough to recognize something was deeply wrong. There was much less money coming around, parents were stressed and there wasn't any progress. I was frustrated that as a teenager I don't have control over what's happening - I was still at high school, obviously and I there were very slim chances I could work as anything other than leaflet distributor. I didn't want to be a leaflet distributor, I needed something else. It was a time when some of us were reaching their 17 or 18th birthday and work holidays in places like UK or Norway were very popular, even for very young people. It was tempting, especially given strong pound. A memory that stings when you see what's happening to the pound - and Great Britain - now. Ouch! Some of my friends would live and study whole year for the money they earned during summer. Although we had a lot o material indulgence as kids, my parents definitely favored practical thing over fun stuff. There were sweets - but not the chewing gum or lollipops. There were good branded clothes - but not a crazy print of a dragon I wanted. (how could you, mum!) There were classes after school - but those who would be useful in the future. Trauma for life, I know. I guess they were just a product of their times and did what they thought was right. As I was growing up and thinking of myself as a separate individual, I was obviously pissed off that I have to ask for every tenner and justify how I spend it. I appreciated and understood my parents hard work, to certain degree, but I wanted to be independent. The most humiliating was when I wanted to kill my dad for destroying our family, yet I had to end up asking him for pocket money to get a coffee with my friends later on. It was making me physically ill so after months and months of frustration I decided to do something about it and take my life into my own hands. Oh I almost forgot - I also wanted to escape the hell that out home has become and be able to move out, as it was unsafe and unhealthy to stay there. Just so you don't think that taking my life into my own hands meant getting money for coffee. Sure, I got to drink a lot of coffee since I moved out.
I started selling on the internet whatever I could find of value. Goodbye golden Jesus, given for my Baptism. Goodbye golden chains that my grandparents saw a a substitute for love. I sold it all the fuck away! Goodbye Metallica goodies. Goodbye books and whatever else I could sell on the equivalent of ebay. I was amazed that some clicks and exchanged emails could result in money in my account and make a real difference. Endless trips to the post office and standing in grumpy queues payed off and I felt like anything can happen. I saved a bunch of money and I could finally take some action.
I got obsessed with the idea of travel, I was researching and preparing, both mentally and practically. I wanted to get out of my current situation so bad. I was staying up late and looking for different options and solutions, browsing forums and getting ready for my big move towards the adulthood.
I didn't speak a word of it to my parents. At the time my dad was unaware of the world around him and mum was being mum. I can't remember now, I might have mentioned something jokingly but I wasn't treated seriously. Huge mistake. I didn't want to tell anyone, only few of my best friends knew what I was up to. It might not seem like such big of a deal unless you know that although I wouldn't call my parents strict in a usual sense, they were quite controlling in terms of my whereabouts. They knew where I was most of the time or how long I would be there. They knew who I was hanging out with. They would drop me to places and bring me back for my "security". It's a big dark world out there.
To be honest can't blame them now, if I had kids, knowing what I know and how awful people and other kids can be mine would probably stay the fuck home and learn Hebrew. Just kidding. Latin is a better idea. Good thing I won't have kids.
Anyway, back to the story. I intended to keep my perfect plan a secret because I didn't want it to be polluted by negative thoughts and suggestions of my paranoid and overly protective parents. The amount of unnecessary talk and interrogation I would get only just entertaining the idea, was something I didn't need. Day in, day out, it was all about leaving to London. It would be my first trip on my own, my first flight, my first time looking for work. All the first times and more. I knew I had to stay focused and positive.
Few weeks before my flight I started feeling a bit anxious. What if things don't work out the way I want? In the end of the day no one could guarantee I will find a job. What if they steal my passport and make me work for free? What if I end up homeless? I could afford the ticket and I had some money, but it wasn't enough to keep me going for long without having a job? What if, what if. Crazy thoughts started springing to my mind.
FIne, I thought, I will start looking for a job right now. I ended up on a Polish expats classifieds and started browsing. Suddenly, an add. It was from somewhere in Wales. General assistant in a hotel. Sounded general enough, I can generally assist, yeah, I can do that, in fact I make a great assistant! I can feel a great potential here. Quick email. They absolutely wanted a Polish girl to work for them since their last general assistant was Polish. (And as it's widely known, we're all exactly the same) They asked me if I was aware that the hotel was for people with learning disabilities and if I knew what it meant. Of course, that wasn't a problem. If I can google it, I can handle it. They gave me a call to see if I speak English. Let me tell you, I've been learning English at school since I was five but nothing can prepare you for the first phone interview of your life with a native speaker. The quality of the call wasn't great and I could understand maybe a third of what was said. I was very nervous, obviously, but somehow I got the job! I couldn't believe it, it was so exciting! My very first job ever! I'm a genius and the world is my oyster! I'm the master of the Universe! I am a Goddess! Fuck yes! I'm an invincible General Assistant! Kneel before me!
Now where the hell is Llandudno? Oh, up there. It looked like there was one train on the day I was arriving to London that I absolutely had to take, otherwise I would be stuck in big scary London forever! I've done some research, making sure my hotel is a real hotel and not a work camp. Seemed legit. I worked out the itinerary and I figured out an excuse to get out of the house for the night.
My cunning plan was coming to a conclusion.