2/18/2008

Citizen of the world

I've been meaning to discuss my views on healthcare and UK living a bit further since my previous posts on the matter were just glimpses. I know, fascinating, right?

Anonymous helped me segue quite nicely into this post, so thank you Anonymous for getting all up in my face about my statements about the UK. You've inspired me with your venom!

I should preface all of this with the statement to Anonymous and any other people who want to slag me off for my views - I live in the UK. I pay taxes here. I work here. I pay a mortgage here. I raise my British-born daughter here. If I want to slag off the system, I will do it. I'm not just passing through. I have lived in the UK for almost 6 years and will probably live here for about 10 years in total before I move on. I think that might qualify me to say what I choose.

In regard to the break-in and my views on crime in the UK, I stand by what I said. Incidentally Anonymous, dear Anonymous, I don't live in London, where all crime in the UK is allegedly centred. I live in a small yet densely populated city, in an area that is supposed to be middle class. Though I do not live in one, I am surrounded by £500K houses, an area in which you'd hope smackheads wouldn't break into your place and steal your shit. I can assure you that in a like location in the US, this sort of thing would be unusual, not the norm. I can also swear on my stack of Sex and the City DVDs that I wouldn't regularly see street pissers, or public drunkeness at midday, every day.

I don't think all of England is like this, just most of it. Sadly, you need to live in a semi-rural/rural area if you want to escape the drug addicts and pissheads, and be willing to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for the privilege. Even then, there is no guarantee. I would venture to guess that people living in $1000000 houses in the US do not often wonder if a drunk person will glass them whilst they are walking back from a nice dinner at 8pm.

I don't want to give the impression that I hate England, I don't in the least. If it wasn't for me being paranoid that my daughter's poor big blue eyes will view street pissers and drug addicts with regularity, I'd have very little to object too. Also, since when can you not have problems with the place in which you live? Who finds their home country faultless? It's not as if I'm saying the US trumps the UK and rules the world. Anyone who knows my very leftist, mostly hyper-liberal leanings would tell you that I am no lover of the US. Why do you think we want to move to Canada? Is it because of our abiding love of the US that we want to move to America's hat? Heh. Sorry Canadians, I'm just joking. Don't you go all Anonymous on me and start telling me to stop being so judgmental, blah blah blah.

My list of things I adore about the UK is lengths longer than the dislikes. No one ever wants to read about the good stuff though, do they? The good stuff doesn't inspire the Anonymous' to come out of the woodwork to get their knickers in a twist with the mistaken impression that I am waging a verbal war on the Queen's fair isle.

When it comes down to it Anonymous, this is my blog. I don't write to not offend. How can I appease everyone? I'm not sorry I bothered you with my statements, toughen up chicken, it's a nasty old world out there. I should mention, you said "alot", which is two words rather than one. That says a lot about the state of the British educational system, which I am particularly qualified to comment on, but this is perhaps a topic for another day, much like health care.

If you want to find out what pro-American tripe is spouted by ex-pats, you'll need to read someone else. As a member of a particularly patriotic mailing list, trust me, it gets a lot worse than anything I would possibly say. I've been nearly booted from that list a few times for being a bit of a rablerouser, objecting to all of the Republican propaganda and religious bullshit they trot out on occasion. A quick tale - one of the list members was comparing crime in the UK versus that in the US. She spoke of a neighbourhood she used to live in, in a large American city. Believe it or not, that it was a largely black neighbourhood and rough, but when queried, said there was no inference. No inference, though you feel the need to mention that it was a black neighborhood. This is what I'm up against on that list. It's a no win situation.

Ok, I'm done rambling. I would, since I'm going on with this theme about my own greatness, like you to cast your eyes to my "E for Excellence" award in the sidebar, given to me for being fucking brilliant. At least, that's what OvaGirl said. Oh, you didn't say that OvaGirl? Hmm...must have just heard what I wanted to. It's my first ever award, so as you can imagine I'm quite flattered. You know when you go to some blogs, which, frankly, aren't always so fabulous, and they are plastered with blogging awards? I am annoyed at how tacky such collections are, but secretly, probably a little jealous. I might be nearly 30 (gasp, sputter), but sometimes I'm 16 again and just want to be the popular kid.

This is all too much drama for me. I'm going to lay down.

16 comments:

DD said...

To get that award from OvaGirl is like getting a Grammy from Katherine Hepburn, so I'd be bragging that up, too (if I got an award, but alas...)

Is anonymous saying we have no right to complain about where we live? That's just stupid, for lack of better words. It's like the time I got flamed for not shedding a tear everytime the U.S. flag was raised.

I prefer to dump my emotional investments into my family and friends, not to some scratch of ground.

DD said...

Uh...that would be an Oscar from K.H., not a Grammy...I'm not an award's whore like you and PiquantMolly.

Carry on.

neko said...

You go girl! You know I love to read some snarky posts after putting my screaming babe to bed. It just balances out the whole day.

Congrats!!! You certainly deserve it chica.

OvaGirl said...

Of course I said you were fucking brilliant you just didn't hear me because you were making too much noise with all your head kicking.

Jesus god DD! Katherine Hepburn?!

wheelsonthebus said...

Living in the UK has taught me that everything about the US is not terrible by default of it being AMerican and me tending towards the liberal. Some things are better in the US, some things are better in the UK, and some things are better in France, but don't tell my neighbors.

rockmama said...

anonymous could at least have had the stones to put down his or most likely, her, name. Whoever they were, they got up my nose. Obviously, you're supposed to consider the sensitive feelings of the entire internets before posting your vitriol for all to read. Try to keep that in mind, Pru, the next time you think about having a toot about, oh, I don't know NOT GETTING TREATED BY A FUCKING DOCTOR?

Hayley said...

I really feel for you on the whole doctor thing - is there any way you can raise a complaint? The problem with the NHS is not so much that it is inherently bad (the idea is a brilliant one) but that it is a postcode lottery. I suffer from Panic and Anxiety disorder, and have never had anything but support from the doctors I have seen - in fact, in many ways they were more supportive than the counsellor I saw.

As to crime...it's a sad fact of life wherever you live, I think. I live in a semi-detached house in a nice street, but am only ten minutes away from a hugely deprived area, and yes, there have been murders on the doorstep, practically. Having said that, we have lived in the same house for over thirty years (not me personally, but my family) and have never been burgled. Although there was a rogue builder...

Helen said...

I hate this feeling that we're supposed to be imbued with, this "you shouldn't complain, you're not a native" tick. Yes, we're not native. But like you said, we pay taxes (hello, over 40% no less), we contribute, we earn our living and don't "take from the natives" all while getting leaflets through our door from the BMP asking to help keep Britain British. So we hide. And get ridiculed a lot.

But we love it here. There are things we hate (your doctor, for instance. I hate him. I also hate British Gas, but then so do a lot of people). There are many, many things we love - the countryside. Takeaways. Public transport. Christmas crackers.

Pru's allowed to express her opinion. She hates pissheads and assholes in her neighborhood, yes, but put her neighborhood and those assholes in Stockholm, Paris, or, I dunno, Addis Ababa and she'll still hate them.

Dial it down, Anonymous. She's not slagging of ALL OF ENGLAND. She's not arming herself with stars and stripes forever. She's pissed, she was burgled, and it sucks.

Now, about her doctor...

calliope said...

Anonymous = dickhead.
Your post was brilliant!

xoxo

Betty M said...

My first time posting here I think (came via DD's blog as I recall) and enjoying the cynicism. Rant away all you like - lots of England is rubbish. Personally I have been living in rather down at heel/rough zones of North London for 20 years and never been burgled and nor have any of my friends, although my sister was once - they took her passport which serves them right as she was born in a country which is part of the axis of evil so its not a passport worth much on the black market. Nor have any of us been mugged. Where I am the crime seems to be mostly by the most deprived strata on the most deprived strata or else is aimed at those in the £2+m houses. The only place we have been burgled is in a cottage in the middle of a field. Anecdotal evidence however is as usual not worth much. Market towns are often far worse than big cities though and yours doesn't sound up to much from your description. Nor does your GP. Definitely time for a change.

Becky said...

ARE YOU TELLING ME THAT YOU'VE MANAGED TO SNAG A BLOG TROLL WITHOUT SENDING HIM/HER MY WAY?

*sniff, sniff*

Helen said...

By the way, have you read the latest?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7253933.stm

Aka "foreigner, go home!"

I'm drinking heavily tonight.

Angela said...

This. post. rocked.

Beautifully vented.

I am so jealous, seriously, of your ability to put all of this into perfect words.

And I would be furious as well, in your position.

Kristi said...

Wonderfully expressed, as always. I bow down to your cynicism, and embrace it with every ex-pat-at-heart fiber of my being.

Anonymous said...

I understand your points a great deal, sadly. While I do choose to live here (I'm originally from your side of the pond) the crime rate and attitude/action (or lack there of) really really makes me see red and don't get me started on teenage pregnancy here!!! The fear of crime and crime can not be ignored.
That said, I prefer a lot about the UK in other respects (politics, international politics, environment, values, less materialistic etc), hense I am hoping to raise my kids here.
Good Points,
Kate

Anonymous said...

the issue I think as well here, is the media. I remember reading massive headlines about a particular issue *can't remember what it was* and everyone was in uproar, yet when I did a bit of digging and compared it to Canada and the US, the UK faired better, so I think the way the media creates sensationalism and fear is another reason why we see/hear/feel about the problems here.
Kate