Where have my friends gone?
I’ll tell you. France, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, etc! The reason? No, it’s not because they want to get away from me, it’s because they all said they want a better life for themselves and their children.
This country is finished they told me. My young nephew, together with his wife and three young children are the latest of my relations to go. They bought a house by proxy in Auckland, New Zealand, three months ago and moved. Before they even got there he was offered three good jobs and now he’s working as a cabinet maker and French polisher [his trade] for a well known hand-made furniture company. Whereas he was unemployed in England, because people here now buy more flat-pack cheap furniture than good quality goods. He was finding life here was increasingly awful and difficult. He couldn’t even get a job sweeping the roads because of all the cheap labour that this Government is importing.
Early last year two families from our little town moved to France and bought a run-down farm in Normandy between them and are now busy renovating it. In one of their emails to me they said, “The world is not a very happy place today but here in rural France, lost in the woods and surrounded by very kind people, deer, beautiful birds and countryside, we live a happy and contented life”. He also mentioned that the children enjoy going to school over there, whereas it was a difficult job to get them to go to school here.
Already this year I have been to the farewell party of another couple from my married days, he was my best man, who are moving to Bavaria, Germany, to be with his wife’s relations. She is German by birth.
I would love to move away from this country that I once loved in my younger days. It has now become a crime ridden hell-hole. Along with other people I know I dare not go into the city after dark because of the gangs roaming the streets.
I left it too late to emigrate. Most countries wont accept old, burnt out people because we would just be a burden, not being able to contribute to their economy we would be just be a drain on it.
AFTERTHOUGHT: It seems that hundreds of Brits are moving to France now, in particular to the Dordogne valley. According to the papers some ex-pats are getting together and buying whole villages that are derelict and setting up their own communities (Ghettos?). They are all seeking the laid back life style that France is so famous for, but I think if they don’t make the effort to integrate with the indigenous population and learn their language and culture, then they are going to destroy the very thing they went to France for.
The ex-pats should realise that they are the foreigners in another country now. I spend a lot of time in France (I have family there) and I can see the resentment in the faces of the French when a crowd of Brits stand chatting in English in the bars and shops. The French accept you if you speak to them in their own language and join in with community events etc.
When I’m there and a Brit ex-pat asks in English if I’m British I just shrug my shoulders and say “Moi? Je suis français. Je ne vous comprends pas”. and walk away, sniggering.
Old Git Wit: Once you have accumulated enough knowledge to get by, you are too old to remember what it was.