Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Love and Immigrants

I was thinking today ... if countries continue to tighten their immigration rules then it would be wise to also restrict unchaperoned international travel for residents of 'difficult to enter' countries, in the interests of cutting back on the number of permanent residents wanting to bring a foreigner home.

I'm slowly interviewing my way through my Nederlands class and discovering that women have given up incredible jobs, their own homes and the relevance of their university degree ... all for love. It's an interesting phenomena and surely one to be noted on Valentine's Day.

This year is the year of municipal, district and provincial elections in Belgium and although it's irrelevant at this level, i'm betting that 'the immigrant issue' will come up. I've already noticed that even during political 'down time', the Extreme Right send their exquisite pamphlets of poison with 'Stop Immigratie' on the front, next to ye olde burning car.

I can't remember the last time I burnt a car but being an immigrant ... well who can tell what dangerous potential lurks beneath the surface of this wandering woman.

I swear, I've only ever used the matches to light the gas cooker!

Anyway, needless to say I'm hoping for 100% fluency in Nederlands and the ability to launch my own counter-campaign in time to reply ... something along the lines of 'Keep your boys and girls at home if you don't want them bringing home stunning foreigners'.

It makes me smile to imagine the response this opposing campaign might elicit. We might even get five minutes peace from the shrill but vote-winning 'anti-immigrant'message.

Happy Valentine's Day ;)


Edward Ott said...

Very nicely written piece.

woman wandering said...

Thank you very much, Edward. I was feeling slightly wicked when I wrote it.

Dobermann said...

Most people really don't know much about immigration. When you talk about it, they think about some poor, un-educated guy trying to lure in way or another. Most of the immigrants that "get through" are hard working, educated people. I think it counts on most of the EU countries, not just Finland.

People talk about making immigration harder and same time wonder why it's so hard to get student visa to this or that country.

woman wandering said...

I know ... and New Zealand isn't without sin in this area. I figured that if I wrote of my experience people might lose some of their fear of the unknown 'other'.

I loved the Turkish culture and I wish I saw more of it here in Belgium. Perhaps I live in the wrong neighbourhood but I think it is good for us to be exposed to new cultures ... not necessarily to be change, just to live a little ... to taste life. Actually, there's a beautiful poem by Pablo Neruda, I should find it and post it. :)