• Rob Bartlitz

    Hi Kostas

    posted by  Rob Bartlitz in Greece forum 

    I have to say the same thing is happening here with regards to businesses. They are all closing. You walk through the high streets and see boarded up shops everywhere, it's only the supermarkets that are managing to stay open.

    And banks here would skin you alive if they only legally could. If you work as a banker in Britain, keep it to yourself :) If anyone finds out, they will start spitting at you or worse, we all hate them so much. The main reason being that the bank bosses award themselves multi-million pound bonuses while majority of their customers live in poverty. I have been with my bank over 20 years now and when I asked for a little bit of leniency so they wouldn't charge me £40 for being £5 overdrawn just one day, they told me to bugger off. The banks in Britain are bleeding people dry and will use any means to impose unfair and sometimes illegal charges, horrible and very unpopular people.

    The jobs situation here, I suppose, is similar to Greece in that you are extremely lucky even if they acknowledge your CV. The slight advantage in London itself is that it is a big city and therefore in theory it should be easier to find a job than in the rest of the country. It tends to be more menial blue collar work as those are the jobs the unemployed Brits do not want to do :) Majority of the recent huge Polish immigration are busy doing these jobs.

    I have to say that I feel really really lucky to have a job nowadays. A lot of my friends have been looking for months, sometimes years. When I joined my company 8 years ago, I was the only one that came for the interview (ha ha, they had no other choice). When another job was advertised last year, we had hundreds of applicants, that's how much it has changed.

    It is an odd thing about Denmark as I also have very good friends there, living in Bogense and Jutland. I've already been to see them twice and find them such nice and relaxed people. It is true though that suicide rates are high in Scandinavia (worse being Finland) and it makes you wonder how accurate these surveys are, or pehaps even how they are conducted.

    The whole concept of personal happiness can be subjective. As an example to prove my point, I have a very good pen friend living in Havana, Cuba. I really don't have to explain how different life is to Cubans. They really do live in abject poverty. What is amazing though is that they are such happy and life-loving people. It's not that they don't appreciate their own plight, but that they instead manage to find so much joy in the midst of all that's thrown at them.

    I personally believe that you can be happy anywhere, providing you don't set your goals too high and that a little bit of luck is on your side. There are happy people in Britain and there are very unhappy ones. The problem for me is that the balance has shifted so much in the last few years. Britain is certainly no longer a land of opportunity. I never laughed as much as when I was told that my nephew wanted to come to London to start a business. I didn't realise until then how his impression of Britain was so dreadfully misguided, ha ha.

    Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of Britain that I love - London is wonderful city to visit, for instance. It's just that on balance, my girlfriend and I (and majority of my friends) would rather live somewhere else :)

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