06 May, 2012


Solidarność, innit?

There used to be a hardware and fancy goods shop on the Greenwich High Road. Well, not so much fancy goods as bizarre remaindered or second-hand toot. It was called, rather curiously, Benefactors. It and its companion outlet in Woolwich closed down a few years ago and the Greenwich shop was taken over by Turkish barbers. Nothing unusual in that, not in South London anyway, where the Turkish immigrants seem to specialize in selling kebabs and haircuts, though usually on separate premises. (A medium doner please, Mehmet, and a bit less hair in it this time, thanks very much.) I recall the shop being converted and refurbished for its new role, a lengthy operation. The builders, as I remember, were all Turkish.

One of the two Chinese chippies on the local shopping parade here in my corner of Greater Woolwich felt flush enough to go for a refurb. All of the shopfitters were Chinese.

Last week, back in Greenwich, I noticed that the big Chinese noodle restaurant near the DLR was getting a lick of paint. Guess where all the painters were from.

Good this integration, innit?

Mind you, I suppose it's sauce, goose and gander. For a variety of reasons which I shall probably bore you with on another occasion, I have got out of the way of patronizing "ethnic" small businesses over the past few years, to the extent that I now effectively "grey them out". I honestly can't say I've been particularly inconvenienced by that.

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