mercoledì, agosto 03, 2016

The racist descends

Back in Jolly Deutschland. The fetus, which hit the age of viability sometime while the plane was over the Atlantic, celebrated by kicking the shit out of me while I let Godzilla use me as a bed because the armrest between our crappy seats wouldn't rise. It was the only family member who wasn't absolutely buggered by the journey (the F-word had to leave to meet us at an obscenely early hour to help us hoik all our cheap-thanks-to-currencies-provisions-for-the-year-ahead); it's been a little ninja (or, according to my disapproving Frauenarztin, a ninja at the 96th percentile so I should eat less pasta) and wouldn't keep still this morning for its measurement ultrasound.

I'm enjoying being home, and enjoying feeling as though I've come home by coming back here, even though I've been sick as a dog and only feel fairly human for the first time in almost a week today. I'm really enjoying the shitty, cold German weather; it's such a pleasure to not be sweating whilst sitting still, which is what I spent most of my summer in Canada doing.

What I'm not enjoying is how much cultural panic over European terrorism in Canada rubbed off on me, in a very unpleasant, racist way. Everybody wanted to know how I felt about all the recent news items and if I was scared, which I wasn't. There are horrible people everywhere who think their great ideas about things are more important than other people's desire to fucking continue breathing. Out of all the news headlines this summer the one that caught at me the most along those lines were those people living in a residential home in Japan who were knifed to death because they were too disabled for the tastes of their murderer. It's a terrible thing to be at each other's mercy, sometimes, when so many of "each other" are repulsive young men in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties who have ideas.

What has happened in Germany, I said to the enquirers, was not so frightening, and what has happened has happened on the other side of the country, not counting those sexual assaults and robberies on New Year's, which I can't help but see primarily as the system following a well-trodden path of utterly failing women (ahem).

But then I got off the plane, and Brussels Airport was crawling with fellas with machine guns, which I'm still not used to in a Belgian context, and I started - hmm. Not tweaking, but certainly I started racially profiling people. And I don't think I've quite stopped yet. I'm not sure what to do about that except noticing myself doing it and waiting for it to stop. But I'm sure not enjoying it. 

3 commenti:

aglaiketstirk ha detto...

Ah fuck. You too.

I was fucking furious with folk from home continually going on about 'how safe are you really?' (safer than most folk in the world, actually) and 'wasn't that near where you are?' (no, Germany is bigger than Glasgow, honest). And I was fucking angry with some of the 'Merkel shouldn't have...etc' (you'll be familiar with that script).

And then. Walking to the centre, one sweaty humid day and Meg took us a shortcut through Hauptbahnhof. Ah shit. I was standing at the lights waiting for the green man (that's a weird thing, that pedestrian 'waiting' at traffic lights stuff - but I'm used to dodging city traffic, standing in the middle of busy lanes, weaving my way past vans and motorbikes...) - and two lads were stood beside me. Wearing rucksacks. Speaking arabic. I felt myself afraid and hated myself for thinking what it was that my mind automatically conjured.

Aside from that - the trip was so very good. I did all the driving - because I am a control freak and because R only bothered to pass his test 4+yrs ago and is the type of middle-aged driver-cum-boy-racer-cum-total-and-utter-road-nutter that no one in their right mind would sit happily and securely beside. Not even a blind person (I've mused on whether that would make me feel better - not being able to see the near misses - but think it would require unconsciousness). I drove just under 4000 miles. The perpetual motion calmed me but drove Ana (youngest - 13yrs) mad - so we had to stop. We eventually came to a halt in Prague. For 6 days. It was beautiful - and a slight adventure in that I rented an airbnb which turned out to be a flat in Praha 4 - a vast Communist era concrete housing city within a city. Grey. Every street looking the same. The tiny windows designed to trap heat for the cold winters. It reminded me of my life before now - before the realisation of high earning capacity. I was brought up in a 'Council' house - social housing built as part of a massive housing expansion in the 50s and 60s Scotland. Praha 4 was just the same. With the addition of a smashed up burnt out Ford Ka across the road. Though folk were quiet - reserved - it was a family/residential working class area.
The contrast between it and the picturesque tourist centre was sometimes mentally overwhelming. Czech Rep was very different. Clearly 'of Europe' but not feeling European at all.
Germany is probably the best country I have ever visited.
My daughter is right. It is superior. In a great great many ways. I like the folk I met. I liked the way they organised their society (except those fucking double light system things that give you a green for cars but have you then checking for the often impossible to see red light for the bikes and pedestrians - because unbelievably they don't operate in simultaneous opposition to one another! Ugh!).
But then I am still in a fug of hatred and contempt for the 37% (approx) of the UK electorate who voted to leave the EU (I do believe it's been managed in a shit way but it represented hope for me - particularly as a it forms the largest part of the law I practice). I have only just spoken successfully sternly enough to myself to actually manage to speak civilly to my Father (racist xenophobic old git that he is) who voted 'Leave'. But I have my Irish passport application in motion - of benefit to my kids if not fully beneficial to me (aside from allowing me freedom to eventually live out of the UK).
I'm sorry. This comment has rambled.
I really want to say 'Hi' and that I am glad you are well and baby is thriving.
X

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I do love rambling comments! Good luck with your Irish passport . . . my accountant was shocked I hadn't married the F-word yet, and I can get an alternate EU passport through him in about 1.5 years, so a happy occasion may be approaching. Ah, romance.

I'm glad you liked Germany. It is pretty awesome here. Come back soon.

aglaiketstirk ha detto...

I'll be back. I'll definitely be back. x