Fear and Loathing in Europe
When I was young Germany was beautiful. It was pedantic, of course, but well-governed, clean and safe. Germans, despite their often unduly good reputation abroad, are not especially intelligent people. They merely found what they could do well and focus all their efforts on doing that. My grandfather received only a very basic education but made do. For over fifty years he worked as a mechanical engineer. My grandmother received a similarly basic education. As a woman of her generation, she faced restrictions on which careers she could pursue but she spent decades working as a designer and seamstress. My grandfather built several houses with no need to rely on anyone’s help. He came up with a concept and saw it through from early sketches to the last layer of paint. He could do this before the invention of calculators or engineering software. My grandmother could design, cut and sew dresses by hand without needing anyone’s advice or assistance. My mum is a theatre nurse. Then again, she sat her Abitur when it still meant something and read medicine.
Most Germans were not especially affluent, either. They mostly led modest, frugal lives. Most were proud people despite their limited means. Yards were kept tidy and grass cut short. Gardens were small, but pretty. It was all a bit twee. It was all more than a little pedantic. Still, it was a predictable, if dull, life. Like many Hunnish children I grew up enamoured with Sweden largely due to a continuing fondness for Astrid Lindgren’s books. I shamelessly continue to read and re-read books such as Barnen i Bullerbyn, Emil i Lönneberga, Karlsson på taket, etc.
My younger life in Germany was an idyll, especially when compared to the American Hell I was forced to endure. Each return to Germany felt like a resumption of a life interrupted. That was always my life, even if I was so frequently uprooted from it. But now, an idyll has turned into a wan dystopia. I knew that Germany was changing, that things there were not as they used to be even a handful of years before. Germany wasn’t what it used to be. Things were not too bad, though. There were new problems, each year there seemed to be more, but they were problems that elicited grumbling rather than protest. I knew last year that Germany had lost the plot.
When I briefly returned to the country in July I couldn’t be arsed to leave my room. I bought what I needed to for my planned move to China but little else. Everything was too depressing. Germany has become grimy, gritty. It was only too easy to tell which side of the Luxembourg/Hunland border I was on. Luxembourg remained clean and well-kept. Hunland was slightly depressing, run-down and dirty. Much of this is Merkel’s doing. For the sake of maintaining a veneer of fiscal probity her various coalitions have cut funding to even the most basic maintenance. Unless, of course, it’s Berlin or some other part of the much-missed DDR – not amount is too much for that! Is the Kiel Canal crumbling? Oh bother, no worries. Are roads in Baden-Württemberg in a miserable state of repair? Sorry, mates, no money for that! Berlin’s new airport? Oh, infinite funds are available for that! A palace that was destroyed during the Second World War? Oh, that can be re-built! No worries, money can be found for that! The Karl Marx House in Trier, one of the city’s most (in)famous sites and a lucrative one at that is in dire need of repair? Oh boffer, can’t find money for that – one must understand, we need to build a new tent city for every Syrian/Pakistania/Bangladeshi/Egyption/Algerian/Nigerian/Ivorian/Eritrean/Iraqi/Albanian/Serb/ Macedonian who might want a free place to stay!
The scandalous reports emanating from Germany over the past week do not surprise me. Nor does it surprise me that the German media colluded with the government and Germany’s PC Mafia to attempt to cover-up the extent of Germany’s spiral into the abyss. I was treated poorly there – my British accent was off-putting, my Anglo-Saxon scepticism and healthy disrespect for authority did not go over well. I could bugger off to England, the sooner the better. The Allahu Akbar Brigades are pushing their luck. More than a few Germans were grumbling about them before this. I fear that this will all end in tears – in Hunland and in Sweden, wherever this was allowed to spiral. I look to my impending return to Europe with dread. I hold Yankeeland in as much contempt as ever. It is and will remain the only country I despise as much as China, but I no longer feel safe in Europe.