Nice building, who knows, just around the corner with an attached church. It could not be better for a senior residence. I drive past often during the week when we go shopping. Only this morning I saw there was a delivery a van full of minteral water parked outside. Yes, they look after the residents, but that is only one senior residence, there is another one just 5-10 minutes away: more modern, even with a café for non residents. You are never isolated from the others. Just because you are a golden oldie, it does not mean that you have to only be with golden oldies. Who knows, one day perhaps ……..
Yes another depressing daily prompt. There is no question of acceptance. Was I accepted when I arrived in Switzerland by the Swiss folk? Of course not. Their food was not english style and their way of life was not english. They had different laws and even the people were different. Of course they were human beings, but what I did as a natural reaction, was not for the Swiss natural. I had to get used to them and do it the way the Swiss did it to be accepted. I am not going into details, because I am not writing a psychological treatise on the difference between the two nations. Suffice it to be said that the Swiss were not waiting for me. I was an innocent young 20 year old wanting to show the Swiss how good the british are, but they were not impressed. They showed me how to do it the Swiss way, and I learnt to accept their ways. They did not have to accept mine, as it was their country.
It is now 30 years later, and I have a Swiss passport, a Swiss husband and even my kids are Swiss because I never bothered to check whether they could become British. The possibility was there, but I was integrated in the Swiss way of life in the meanwhile. Of course I found there were british things that were better, but we were a Swiss family and who am I to change the Swiss Way of life.
It was only when I returned to England for a holiday that I realised I was not longer British. My collegaues were talking of the latest british news. On the TV only the talk was of british affairs, nothing international. Swiss TV and radio were always full of what was happening in other countries. Probably because they did not have enough own news to fill the programme.
Discussions about a new line in the local supermarket for meat pies or sausages and bread were the brtish subject of the conversation. My dad belonged to the older genration and he was constantly asking if we have this or that TV programme. I had to explain we have our own programmes, spoken in our language. He was under the impression that the whole world was endeavouring to lead a british way of life, beause it was so perfect. I remember when he visited us in Switzerland and we would eat in a restaurant. It was not his usual food, but he summarised it all with the words “they like that sort of thing”. I asked him who “they” were, but never got a clear answer. It was as it we were from another planet.
My british colleagues asked me about my way of life, but I gave up. I noticed in their tone of conversation, they really felt sorry for me having to endure life in a different country. How did I manage with the food? Did I miss the good old fish and chips, meat pies etc. . The Swiss eat veal we heard. The Swiss tend to eat fish with boiled potato, we have our own way of cooking meat pie and it is not a Swiss speciality, but I never missed it, I did not even like it. As far as veal is concerned, the english seem to have a thing about veal. It is meat like any other. Veal is from baby cows and lamm is from baby sheep which the english love. What is the difference?
Acceptance is no problem for me, because I make an effort to understand and am always happy to learn something new.
About a year ago MS was diagnosed for me. I accepted it as I had no choice and I am learning its ways. What is the point of collapsing in despair. The illness will not go away and I have to learn to live with it. If our tax increases or sickness insurance (which it will), I have to accept. I even have a nice senior citizens home around the corner, what could be better.