Brexit and a stinky fridge

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There’s three of us living here and our current fridge is tiny – about the size of a washing machine. We’ve been in need of some cold real estate expansion for a few months. However, nobody actually wanted to arrange it. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on it as our lease ends in April next year, so we kept putting it off.

It was a Sunday and Amazon was whining about our fridge situation. I amassed all of my negotiation skills and managed to empower her to take some initiative. She went on Gumtree and a call or two later had it all organized.

A day later we had our fridge delivered by some dodgy immigrants. There was a smell around the men when they delivered it. I thought the men smelled, but it was actually the fridge.

We were told not to turn it on for about two hours because of whatever lame dodgy fridge salesman excuse. So it just stood in the middle of the living room overnight.

Come morning time, and I switched the bad boy on. Immediate regret followed. The fridge was noisy as hell. I could not even hear my own thoughts when next to it. But it gets worse.

The inside of the fridge was quite smelly only to be surpassed by the stench coming from the back of it. That smell concentrated near my room and I was breathing all of that motor grease oily smell in whilst trying to get some sleep. I was worried I’d wake up dead.

First thing in the morning I unplugged the bloody thing and told my housemates we need to get rid of it. It was too noisy and made the entire flat smell. It had to go.

For reasons, which I don’t quite understand, Amazon did not share my sentiment and didn’t think the noise was excessive nor did the fridge smell in her infinite wisdom. I think she got attached to it because she picked it out and now has trouble coming to terms with making a poor consumer decision.

Anywho, I got my housemates’ blessing and listed the fridge on Gumtree for £50 (we bought it for £102). My ad didn’t attract any interest. Mr Chemistry said it’s not surprising and suggested I list it for free. I asked Amazon if she was OK with that and her words were “I don’t care”.

All my female readers will now think that “I bet he didn’t even know what that meant. It means precisely that this is going to be a massive issue if he “sells” it for free” and that’s exactly what happened. I got rid of the fridge today and my life was beautiful again. At least for a short while.

Before I went to bed I had a look at my trading portfolio which showed a small loss of around £50 because everybody thought the UK was going to remain in the UK. At least that’s what the money voted on. This is because all the bookies got a massive splurge of people coming in with bets for the UK to vote remain.

I woke up with an open loss of about £1,000. Not exactly the best start to the day! About 90% of the votes had been counted and Brexit was winning. I was quite surprised. I went for a run and couldn’t but help myself thinking that every other Brit is xenophobic and/or racist. This was a tough pill to swallow. I felt and still do feel quite unwelcome here.

The GET BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY mentality is strong. I thought this was something people were jokingly saying but the Brits actually meant it. How terrible is that? I found myself asking do I want to live in a country where more than half the nation doesn’t want me here. Well… it’s not much of a question really. The answer is: No!

Fuck no!

I would have never moved to England if it wasn’t for the EU. I was in New Zealand before moving here and I think I would’ve stayed there if I had a crystal ball (I’d also be fabulously rich with my crystal ball but that’s another story…). I think I’ve played my cards wrong. Two and a half years I’ve been here and worked here and paid my taxes, never been on benefits, never commit a crime etc. Now I’m suddenly the enemy.

In all honesty it’s the 50+ year olds who voted out, the younger ones mostly voted remain. So the people who were faced with the shortest time of living with the consequences got their way and the younger generations with up to 50+ years ahead of them will have to clean up the mess. Or maybe older folks are more xenophobic and long for a time when racism and hate were cool?

People at work didn’t quite want to discuss this topic with me. It’s painfully obvious why – about half of them voted out which clearly means they think I’m a threat of some kind or a moocher or another bloody immigrant. You can’t even trust the ones who said they were “pro remain” as every second person voted out. They’re lying and don’t even have the balls to expose their xenophobia. Cowards!

I am an immigrant and I think I’m a better person because of that. In my book Estonia (that’s where I’m from) is also a very xenophobic hateful nation. I’ve lived in five countries so far, I’ve travelled to many more. I’ve seen the world and experienced different cultures – not just as a tourist but lived amongst the natives. I’ve grown as a man and become more open-minded and understanding in the process.

not-aholes

Change the religions in the above picture to people with different nationalities. The message is the same.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime” – Mark Twain.

It’s a sad day.

And the best thing which happened was the moment the fridge was taken away. Sadly, this joy was also taken away from me when Amazon decided to make a scene about it. I don’t get it. I got all my housemates’ blessing to get rid of it, it was a horrible product – FFS there was brown smelly liquid stuff leaking from the back of it. Our financial loss was only £34 per person, which is peanuts. I just don’t understand her. Why are her precious feelings or emotional attachments so important? It was just a crappy fridge.

I would do the same again, any day. No regrets.

If you wanted, you could draw further parallels here. The fridge was the EU and I got rid of it because it’s a shitty product. However, the difference is that I know there are better products available which I can replace the fridge with. That’s not the case with leaving the EU, as there’s considerable uncertainty about the future. In fact, there is no leadership and nobody knows where this train of hate is heading to.

Sad Ivar

Today is a strong day

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These are the words I read from my mug trying to keep my shit together. “Today is a strong day” I repeat. Why is today so much harder than yesterday when I found out about it?
I log in at work hoping to find a shitstorm in my inbox. However, no such luck. Nothing. Nothing to distract my thoughts.
SteveO says “good morning” and I couldn’t. Not a single word. He made all this so much harder. You could cut the awkward silence/tension with a knife. I was still in shock so I didn’t notice it at the time.
I had another sip of my crappy coffee and noticed that I finished it.
“Today is a strong day” – Mr Strong.

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Except……..that it isn’t.

Lets timetravel to yesterday.
I had a fairly good day and was on my way to London to dance some zouk. My battery was low, so I had my phone on flight mode.
I got to the dancing venue and for some reason turned my phone on normal mode
.. which is odd because the dancing venue/bar is underground and I had no signal there.
However a FB message made its way to my phone. It was from my brother.
He said he’s got some bad news for me. My father died.
A beginners salsa class was ending at that point as I read the message and you could hear the instructors giving pointers and summaries to the kids about what they learned today.
At the same time I completely froze.
And started shaking. Uncontrollably, but not visibly (maybe it was visible, I’m not sure). An inner tremor of sorts.
The music switched to a zouk beat. I was glad it was dark and nobody saw me… or maybe I wasn’t too concerned whether anybody saw me or not.
I pondered about what I should do and remembered something I read a long time ago. When somebody dies, you shouldn’t make any radical changes to your life. Instead, continue your daily routine as you always do.
I felt the waterworks starting.
I made my way to the toilet to take a piss… you ever wonder why the loo is so busy at the worst possible moment?
I remembered that it’s not possible to feel sad if your body is in a happy/positive posture. So I sucked it up. Chest up, head up, shoulders back and it got better. The initial shock was a thing of the past.
That didn’t last long…
I needed to distract myself before the class started and made some conversation with Phoebe. I think that was the wrong call… She asked me how I was and I said fine… she saw right through me and I gave her some crap about having a stressful day at work in response.
It was a painful conversation but it worked. I kept my shit together.
The class started. Zouk is a fairly engaging thing you know. The fact that I can’t multitask also helped. Only a few times did my thoughts wander and remind me of what had happened. I feel bad for saying this but I was able to enjoy myself throughout the evening. Don’t judge, dealing with death isn’t something they teach you at school.
However, I broke down like a little bitch just a few steps from home. It was too much. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. The distractions were gone and
I fucking cried myself to sleep.

Next day
Next day I went to work, as usual (remember the thing about not doing anything radical…The stupid is strong in me.) The morning was difficult but as I got more involved with work it got better. Much better. I shared the news with one colleague who might have shared it with a few others.
But I wasn’t quite myself. I was very quiet and generally avoided human contact.

Did I mention that my passport expired in March? Well… that’s a bit of a problem if I want to go to the funeral in Estonia. Anywho… I contacted the embassy who came back to me fairly quickly and told me they could issue me a document which will enable me to travel temporarily. However, first I needed to tell them what my travel dates are. At this point where was no date for the funeral… I would contact them again once I know. I was told the Embassy can issue the document in half an hour and all I needed were two passport photos and a date for my flight out of the UK.

I feel the fucking rainbow. I’m sad, then angry, then oddly OK, then depressed, then even happy. I’m all over the place. And it feels like there’s no end in sight. Work helps, a lot. It keeps me focused on other things.

I wrote the above almost two months ago. The funeral was last Saturday. I’d rather keep the details to myself about why it took so long until the funeral. Sorry. Don’t ask. Things are much better now and I’m glad this is all behind me and that I can finally close this chapter.

Ivar