So, a few days ago, I was trying to take a good selfie and it ended up being 14 pictures of me, until I decided that I looked worse on every following photo and that got me thinking. How horrible it is that we try so very hard to try and look good on a picture that usually doesn’t even end up looking like us so that we deem it acceptable to post on social media. Why? Well, to impress other people who we believe are so much better because they too take 20 pictures and post that perfect one, also making others believe that they just are perfect like that.
Spending your summer holidays in England might sound like a paradox or even the epitome of wasting precious free time for some, but is actually an excellent opportunity to experience the European island a little closer and escape the burning heat of summer in other countries. In 2018, every European country suffered from an unnaturally hot (for most) July and August, Britain was no exclusion, but in September, temperatures have dropped down to manageable levels so one can enjoy the sun without the fear of being burnt alive. For this holiday, we chose the southwest coast of England and spent twelve days traveling the coastal cities and sights in Cornwall and Devon before making our way back to Dover with a short stop in Hastings. Continue reading “Impressions of an English summer”
A few weeks ago, I ate supper later than usual, which is a nice way of saying I stopped for a sandwich at a gas station on my way home from the office at 10 pm. As it is common with me and late suppers, this one too caused weird dreams, but it did rub off on me this time. Continue reading “Rise and shine”
In November 2015, as Europeans were grappling with the shock of the Islamist terror attacks in the French capital Paris, the Daily Mail, a British tabloid, published a cartoon in response to the events. It showed a group of people, most of them clearly Muslims – as indicated by the men’s beards and the veiled women – crossing the border of the European Union. A sign advertised the EU’s open borders and the free movement of people. At the people’s feet were rats jumping the border line in the shadow of the immigrants. The cartoon provoked outraged reactions, as it was undoubtedly meant to: it had connected the influx of hundreds of thousands of Middle Eastern war refugees into Europe that summer with a rising terrorist threat, and it had equated some of those border crossers to rodents. Perhaps the artist directed that comparison only at violent extremists, perhaps he did not. Either way, the cartoon’s appearance fit into a disturbing pattern. That April, controversial British columnist Katie Hopkins had published a particularly extreme opinion piece in the Sun tabloid on the topic of migrants. Parts of it read:
I come from an apple of a country. A country that is beautiful and picturesque, but the core is completely rotten and worm-ridden. The mountains are high, bare and offer a view to die for while the forests are bursting with life and diversity. The system, on the other hand, is broken and stuffed with people who don’t really care what, who or where [insert any verb], as long as they can secure a seat (any seat) in the next term. It’s like a fun game of musical chairs only that this one is ruining the country.