I had to give this week's question some thoughts first.
This week @ecotrain asks us to blow the whistle. Where I'm lately one of the first people that enter the QOTW posts, this week I thought that I should maybe skip a week as I'm not comfortable on naming the names and possibly get a target on my back in the current situation. I wasn't too sure about how much I was willing to share to expose things. You need to know that one of the reasons that we plan on moving from here next year, is that I do not feel comfortable being in a country where I could possibly end up being caught in a political issue as a foreigner that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not long after we moved here, it was clear that corruption is a huge part of the economy here, friends of the government top "players" always benefit financially for example.
All of this doesn't have to be a problem, just pay the taxes, and be quiet about what you actually think and notice could work, but as the world has started to awake, people have become snitches and I see a lot of people not minding their own business and ratting out people's (very true) comments to local officers that sometimes suddenly arrest these people. Of course, they will say that it's not allowed to cause panic (I'm taking the pandemic period as an example) while often these comments were fact-based and sourced. I know for several years that I should be careful what I shout on social media platforms, so that's not going to happen to me, but it's becoming a huge point of annoyance that it's not only that part that I should be careful with.
In the past months, there have been several things that made me scratch behind my ears thinking that this is a very very unfortunate situation, which nobody could have foreseen. And I feel that in this new world we live in, anyone could accidentally end up in a similar situation. Yes, even you! Sometimes maybe not even on purpose but for example, because a friend was having an innocent chat about what you said with someone without any bad intentions, but that other person loves to rat out those that have different beliefs? I've come to realize that this is not the country we want to be in when shit really hits the fan.
Anyone could end up being a target of the government
During the pandemic, a group of students was submitted at the hospital where Covid patients were treated and were accused of not following the rules. Whether this is true or not, I can't say for sure, I wasn't there, but let me tell you that my gut feeling said the story was smelly. They were arrested and quite quickly deported. These students have lived here for years, spent a shitload of money here to be able to study, and were deported as if they were trash. I don't think they even got a fair trial. This was such an eyeopener to me at the time because we pay our taxes and you'd think if you bring in a lot of money (compared to many of the locals that have low wages) you would have some value, but then this happened and these students should have had value but were deported in a heartbeat.
Corruption in health care
From the moment that we arrived here, we were told to pay the doctor when we had needed help. This is common practice here. We never did, we have public health insurance and never "tipped" a doctor, as that just feels wrong! They get paid, I'm not going to cheer and enable these people to rip off poor people that need help so that they have a bigger paycheck! It's still something that I read quite often though, that you're supposed to pay the doctor that (just an example) helps you to give birth 1000 euros for help. I mean, what?
I thought this was slowly fading, but vultures are still here, this story may shock you. I read that a family member exposed a certain hospital after a lady was not admitted when she should have been because of the clearing out beds for the pandemic. This lady needed care, it was clear, but she got send home, and after she came back her situation had worsened. Eventually, she got admitted but with the knowledge that (she gave her a list!) these extra costs would apply every month. A huge list of costs to pay the doctor, nurses, and cleaning personnel. It was horrific to read as these people were also in experiencing a global pandemic and worried that their family member was going to die soon as she didn't get the help. So they agreed to pay. The lady died in the hospital and the family was told that the jewelry on her couldn't come off so forget about this.
Vultures! It makes me sick!
The list goes on.. so much that's not right!
I can go on for quite a while but some examples may be too detailed to share. I'm mainly sitting out my time here until the moment arrives that we have concrete plans and know when we go and where to exactly. Until then, I'm keeping my head cool and won't risk getting into trouble because of exposing things. I know this needs to be done, but honestly, there's currently too much on the line for us as a family to take that upon us. I'm very glad though, that I read more and more people that are speaking up and not afraid to do so. I wish I still had that courage inside of me, but my biggest fear is to get stuck here for much longer than needed or that our daughter will be punished in one way or the other because she's going to a public school. The powers of the government here reach quite far, and in this uncertain year of changes, I rather observe a bit longer before speaking openly about how I see things. That doesn't mean that I don't pay attention btw, I do, but we keep this behind closed doors and decide as a couple and parents how to act (or not).
It feels good to get some things off my chest though, even if this isn't a huge and global awakening.
Thanks for reading, if you have something to share, please leave a comment below, I appreciate your engagement!