I got a comment today asking me why I haven't posted in so many days and I am touched that someone noticed! I have been recovering from a nerve shattering trip to the UK. On Sunday at the airport I bought a book which I settled down to read on the flight to discover that I have not only already read this book, I already own it. So you can understand my frame of mind after a week of rain and grey in the UK. I need to take a week off with my head buried inside a giant watermelon.
On Sunday I sat in an Olympic airways flight stuck at the hell hole that is Heathrow, in pouring rain, one hour delayed, in 14C in July and waited for the golden moment the plane took off and took me away from my increasingly despised birthplace. When the captain gave a speech in Greek over the intercom about how hard they are trying to keep Olympic going despite fines and bans on chartering flights and thanked us for helping their fight by flying Olympic, we all clapped. When the flight touched down in Athens to a July night of 25C, we clapped. I swear, I have tears in my eyes thinking about how happy I was when we landed and left the airport to the warm embrace of summer and the scent of life.
I was right about moving to Greece and on this trip I felt it more keenly than ever before. I feel like a stranger in London being swept along the anonymous faces, the constant rushing, the mind-your-own-business attitude which leaves me scared to get caught up in any trouble because I know people are less likely to help me than they would if I were in Athens. In my one week in London, five young people were fatally stabbed. The sixth died the day I landed. Six young people dead for no good reason - the nation should be on the streets in disgust and yet they do nothing.
When I got a humiliating dressing down from a bank clerk for being in possession of my father's card because my own had stopped working, this in spite of the fact that I was at the counter to replace the money I had used during the week and not to withdraw funds, I boiled with frustration.
"Do you expect a father to leave his daughter without any money for a week? He was trying to help me and you can call him now to check, I have his permission to use the card."
"No one except your father should have the card or the pin number, it's breach of contract."
"But do you understand what I'm telling you, it was an emergency situation and anyway I am putting money into his account not taking it out."
"If we catch you using this card again we will have to remove it from you. Your father is in breach of his terms and conditions by you having the card and the pin number."
"But I'm his daughter and he knows I have his card! Why is it such an issue for a father to lend his daughter his card?"
"Next time get him to write a letter or add you onto the card or we will have to cancel it."
"Why should he write a letter, I'm only here for one week! Can't you understand that I have my own bank card but it has stopped working so I needed this in an emergency till I get the replacement?"
"You shouldn't have his card."
What I see in the UK is the slow death of common sense and mental flexibility as everyone tries to cover their own backsides and screw you if you get in the way. Morons are slowly taking over the country. I fired off an email to Mr Zeus saying I hoped the UK got global warmed into oblivion and sank into the sea, which I admit is a little harsh and I do take back, but I don't apologise for how my one week in London made me feel like I was constantly banging my head against a wall.
So yes, it feels terrific that I was right to leave the UK. I took a gamble and I hit the jackpot. I always hated life in the UK and I am eternally grateful that I took up the opportunity to leave. Otherwise, what would I be doing? Turning green from the lack of sun, doing my nine-to-five and eating my watery tomatoes, sobbing onto my Prozac in front of a light box as a I tried to fend off my annual four month winter depression. If you are a young person living in the UK, reading this and thinking of leaving, let me tell you: Leave. Do it now by whatever means. There's nothing left in the UK any more.
And also, now I am part of respectable Home Country society since I had my religious marriage over the weekend. It feels great that now I can give out my number to friends in the Home Country and not have to worry about Mr Zeus picking up when they ring. More on the ceremony in another post.