La Pequena’s European Dream

I remember the day I moved to London. I was scared and excited at the same time.


I was moving to one of the biggest cities in the world: cosmopolitan, multicultural, modern, trendy and best of all, totally new to me. I brought with me the essentials: clothes, one pair of heels, a couple of wigs and the “tortilla de patata” recipe.

I was running away from a big economic crisis and the bad job conditions in Spain and I was full of energy and dreams I knew I would acheive “European Dream” in London. The first months were really hard, as my English was very poor. I was answering every question just by smiling and laughing, hoping for the best. That’s probably why most people who met me then thought I was sweet (sadly for them, I am exactly the opposite).

One of my objectives, probably the first for most of the foreigners in London, was learn English. It seems an easy thing to do, just by being in London but believe me, it was a near-impossible mission. It was hard to start a conversation on the street, so I learned quickly that the best schools were clubs and apps! Google Translate became my best friend and I would spend half of my life translating and finding word meanings every day.

Life in a big city like London can be difficult and confusing. You realise that when a guy is asking you about ‘watersports’, he is not speaking about synchronised swimming. You discover that ‘deep throating’ is not a singing technique. Something that still makes me feel uncomfortable is how British people are constantly asking if you are ‘ok’. I don’t understand why. “Are you ok? Are you ok there babe?”, It’s scary; it makes me think my nose is bleeding or worse, my makeup has wiped off!

After a few misunderstandings, I started to feel confident and ready to find a room. Everyone I knew was living in East London, so it was my first and only option from the beginning. I will never forget my first viewing in Whitechapel. Some decent pictures and an “affordable” £575 rent price pushed me to make an appointment. When I arrived, there three people already living there; a Brazilian waiter, an English fashion student and a weird looking guy whose nationality I don’t remember.
But he looked weird and the poncho he was wearing looked even worse. The three of them interviewed me, asking me details about my life like if I had a partner (FYI I am still single, my Facebook is La Pequeña, so inbox me if you’re interested ), if I liked animals (yet it was forbidden to have a pet) , if I was vegetarian, if I was a smoker, what kind of music I liked… It got a point that I was thinking why do they need to know all this? I don’t even know half of the answers myself! Were they scared to find me having an orgy with animals, while listening Emelie Sande, smoking marijuana and eating hummus?

“You realise that when a guy is asking you about ‘watersports’, he is not speaking about synchronised swimming. You discover that ‘deep throating’ is not a singing technique.”

So I said to them, “Listen this flat is shit” and then something else. I can’t remember …I used the word ‘fuck’ a few times.

A week later I found my house; refurbished and no flatmates yet…so I skipped the interview and I am still living there seven years later. I remember feeling so happy that I ignored the fact I didn’t have an Internet connection at home. Imagine!

Looking for a job was traumatic, I was leaving CVs everywhere and when I had a phone call I was literally too terrified to pick up the phone. I had a few interviews and finally got a job in an ugly shop with worse conditions than in Spain. Everything started to look bad again. Starting life in a new place is like a roller coaster …one day you are on the top of the world laughing, the day after you’re screaming and falling to your knees.

I quit the job and I started hosting nights, quickly going from a totally unknown face to one of the most famous hosts in the city in record time. It wasn’t easy though, I had to kiss whole of London (or go even further with them), partying every and all weekends. It was very hard but necessary.  Then I found a day job in another retailer, and step by step, year by year I was progressing and being promoted. I am living a dream, professionally.

Seven years later I have job that is perfect for me, plus I own more than sixty wigs and around hundreds of pairs of shoes from the best (and some of the worst) designers. London has been very welcoming and very good to me. The “European Dream “ exists and it’s definitely better than the American one!

I was very lucky in the end, but I never forget that people who move from their countries are suffering. They are far away from their families and friends, just trying to find a better future. It is very sad for me to think what will happen if the Brexit referendum results in the Britain leaving Europe. There has been high migration to the UK, particularly in recent years. So if we tell all immigrants to leave Britain tomorrow and stop working, there’d be large gaps of employees particularly in certain sectors. At the moment the UK economy needs immigrant workers in all sorts of sectors, plus having people from all over Europe makes up so much of London’s rich culture. It would be disastrous and very sad for the UK to leave that all behind. Hopefully it will never happen.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here