Ikon: customers are like my family members.

My name is Ikon. I left Pakistan and I worked in the market over the last 11 years. I start my job at around 12 or 1 o’clock in the morning time. I finish at 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning. After that, I go home and sleep. And then I just do some homework and play with my daughter. 

I’m only working in the Billingsgate market. I used to work for a very long time, like before I was working in Scotland with some fishermen, so they brought me here.

I love fishing.

I like to work in the market because I love fishing. When I was in Scotland, I did many fishing over there in the River Clyde. I went many times over there. So I worked with many good fishermen over there, especially in the Peterson market, the biggest market in Scotland. I worked there for one year. Some of my friends have worked here. So they told me that if you want to come here, there’s a good opportunity. Scotland was a boring place. But here I can do many things after work.

The market is very nice. The people don’t like the timing. But I like that timing because when I start at 1 o’clock in the morning and finish at 9am. So after that, I have a lot of time to do things in the daytime. I had too many of my friends that work with me and they leave the market.

So it was a good relationship with them. So I don’t forget them. Especially, I have too many good customers, they come to me and they are like my family members. They come straight to my shop. They don’t go anywhere. Some of them are excellent. Some always asked for a discount. If something is 10 pounds, they said give me 5 pounds. They give me a headache. But most of them are nice.

It’s funny when the customer doesn’t know about the fish.

I have too many stories to tell. I fell down on the floor because of the ice. It’s nothing special. One time a customer came. She said, ‘I need a tilapia’, and I gave her a tilapia. And she said, ‘It’s not a tilapia.’ Then I gave her a sea bass. And she said, ‘Yeah, that is a tilapia. I want that.’ So it was very funny because she doesn’t know about the fish.

I heard about the relocation. I started 10 years ago. It has been 10 or 11 years since I’ve started. I heard they are going to move the market at that time.

But 10 years later, I’m still here. The market is not going to move. So I still heard that the market is going to be removed in five years. But I don’t know, I think they are going to move in the next two or three years. The thing that we used to work here that’s a good place for us, and I don’t know what the new place would look like, or whether it’s good or not. So it depends on the area and the place. How it looks nice. Let’s see then. I live only a 30-minute drive from here.

The white coat is important to me.

The white coat, the Billingsgate white coat. Normally we use it today. I did not wear it today. But that’s the thing is because they put a logo on the Billingsgate market. That would be the most important thing for me.

Only this week I did not wear it. Normally I wear the white coat. Because in winter it’s difficult to wear because with the jumper, it’s awkward for me. But in summer time, we normally use the white coat. In my country, nobody wears a white coat for fishing, they just wear normal clothes. So it’s very important for me. You can see in my country, only the doctors wear the white coat, nobody else. So that’s why it’s more memorable for me.