I am lucky

light
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I am lucky that I am white.

I am lucky that, as a Brit, I have been perceived as the “right” kind of foreigner in the countries I have lived in (even after Brexit).

I am lucky that nobody has ever tried to blame me for the actions of others who I just happen to share a nationality with (again: Brexit).

I am lucky that I have never suffered abuse – whether physical or verbal – due to my nationality, race, or religion (other than the harmless but not very funny “jokes” about how I should be used to rain).

I am lucky that I was able to live in two EU countries before Britain left the EU, which will presumably make it much harder for Brits to do the same thing in the future.

I am lucky that I had the opportunity to move to Switzerland based partly on the the fact that I was a European Union citizen.

I am lucky that I was able to search for and find a job in Germany without worrying about how to get a work permit.

I am lucky that I could marry my boyfriend next week if I wanted to with very little fuss (other than a bit of bureaucracy).

I am lucky that I will never have to correct anyone who automatically refers to my partner as “he”.

I am lucky that, through their father, my future children will be EU citizens and will be in a position to enjoy the same privileges I did if they want to live, work, or study in another EU country at any point.

I am lucky that the only discrimination I am likely to face is because I am a woman (for example, maternity laws in Switzerland are abysmal. And by the way Britain, the reason they’re currently half decent in the UK is due to an EU law!). I will never be told to “go back to where I came from” despite the fact that I am currently not actually living in the country of my birth. I would never have been assumed to be a foreigner in my country of birth based on where my grandparents came from (despite the fact that my grandfather was Ukrainian). I will never be refused permission to marry the person I love because they happen to have the same gender I do. I will never be beaten up for wearing the “wrong” kind of clothes or for kissing my partner in public. I will never be accused of being a terrorist because of my religion and country of origin.

It would be so easy for me to turn a blind eye to everything that’s going on and assume that the world will go on, somehow, and things will eventually get better.

However, other people are not so lucky, and those are the people we need to be there for in these awful, awful times. We need to reach out to those who may need help. We need to not ignore it if we see discrimination in action. Above all, we need to be kind to each other.

The world may seem like a dark place at the moment, but every single one of us is capable of doing something to spread a little light in our own small part of it.

This post was partially inspired by this post on  Ami im Schwabenland, this post on Rhyme and Ribbons and many, many posts by the ever wonderful Katy.

At least it’s the weekend…

All week I’ve been wanting to write a nice, positive post to counteract the whines of the two previous ones, but then I came down with this horrible cold thing, which meant I left work early on Wednesday (to be fair I had nothing musch to do anyway) and actually ended up calling in sick yesterday and spending the day in bed. Unheard of for me! The last time I was off work sick was at my previous job, and then I was sent home because I was annoying everyone with my coughing! I stayed home again today as well. I was feeling somewhat better, but not enough to face the journey to work. Luckily we have the option to log on to the server remotely from home, so I sent an email saying I could work, but wasn’t feeling up to coming in. The offer was gratefully accepted… my colleague took yesterday off as well and called in sick again today. Since there are only two of us translating into English you can imagine the chaos that can cause both of us being ill can cause! Luckliy yesterday remained quiet, but the colleague who deals with order management was understandably relieved to have one of us at least able to do a little work from home today!

Jan has been wonderful through this! I was already feeling crappy on Tuesday (but still well enough to go to work) so he got out of bed while I was in the shower and made me an Erkältungstee! That’s tea that’s supposed to help with colds. (Cold tea would be the literal translation but that just sounds weird in English). Usually I have to wake him up to say goodbye when I leave, so him getting up at 6:30 a.m. just to make me a tea was quite frankly amazing! Even more so when he then did the same thing on Wednesday morning! Yes, I do realise how lucky I am (although reading back through my posts you’d probably be hard pushed to believe me). I seem to be on the road to recovery now. I feel less weak and my head’s stopped feeling like it’s been stuffed with cotton wool. Now if only my nose would stop alternating between running and being blocked and I could stop coughing for longer than 5 minutes at a time everything would be perfect! At least it’s the weekend. Two whole days to recover…
And now I’m off to make chilli con carne for tea. Hot food sounds like such a wonderful idea right now!