The dialogue on Once upon a Time may not always be perfect, but there is this delightful line, spoken by Rumplestilstkin, that magic always comes with a price. It’s wonderfully catchy and universal, quite applicable to a lot of things, actually. Being the information junkie that I am, I would never have thought, though, that trying to keep up with the Brexit and its consequences would be one of those pricey things.
Some of you already know that I work in adult education, teaching everything from basic travel English to conversational English, and also British (sometimes Scottish) life and culture to a bunch of open-minded, interested and simply fantastic people, most of them in the 55+ age group, although the folks in the evening classes usually tend to be a bit on the younger side.
So spending the better part of last week discussing the various aspects of the Brexit, professionally but also with family and friends, was exactly what I had expected. What I hadn’t reckoned with, however, was how bloody exhausting these discussions would be, because I am emotionally involved.
In essence, the British Isles aren’t a foreign country to me but rather my holiday home in Europe. I’ve been travelling the UK ever since I was sixteen. Over the years, I’ve consumed more than my share of British culture, literature, history and media; I’ve formed friendships and regularly exchange Christmas cards.
Among my favourite TV people ever are David Attenborough, Simon Schama and Jim Al-Khalili. And if fellow Doctor Who fans inquire about my favourite Doctor, I’ll proudly say it’s the Fifth. (I only caught up with classic DW after the new series had started, and while I’ve seen every classic Doctor in action by now, Fivey is the one I really clicked with on every level, which is kind of sweet, because due to his early 1980s run, Peter Davison’s Doctor would have been the one I had imprinted on as a child if I had grown up in the UK.)
Despite the fact that I certainly think, feel, act and sound unmistakably German in everyday life, it is therefore no wonder that a large part of my personal identity is determined through what I love about the UK.
I would hate to see these ties substantially weakened, due to the bureaucratic complications that are likely to ensue now. Following media reports and political commentaries feels like a trip to some clownish, nonsensical and ugly bizzarro world.The reports on the rising number of racist attacks on immigrants from other EU countries are leaving me shocked.