Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving or not?

Recently I was talking to my students about how life is changed by moving countries. I am often, OK, very often, asked "Why would you leave beautiful warm, happy, rich Australia to come here?" For me I have no real home I am more a citizen of earth. I have felt equally happy in Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Auckland, Guatemala City, London or here in Warsaw. Which may make people follow up with "Wow, how do you do it? You must be very brave/crazy/strange." Fact is that all I do is start a routine in another country. I like routine, I like things that I can rely on. Here it is getting up early, making a coffee and breakfast, as well as checking my emails. It is the same thing 7 days a week. If I am away visiting my in-laws, I start a mini routine there. I get up bake bread and make coffee for whoever wants it.


People often say that routine is a scourge on modern life, I think the opposite. To me it is like many photos I love to see, routine in repetition or pattern form. So all of these conversations made me think what would make many people move countries? So I asked my students the following:

Imagine you were moving to a new country. What would be the most important factors to take into consideration? Mark the two most and the one least important. (The most important is in the left column and the least important on the right).

Cinemas/theatres/concert halls

=3
Good flats/houses
5

Good transport systems
6
=3
Good schools/hospitals/universities
7

Presence of family/friends
3

Safe streets
8

Parks/green areas

=3
Free press and media

2
Democratic system/equality
1
=3
Language
2
1
Culture
4
=3
Other.....................................
9


Which of these things would most make you want to leave your home city or country?

Unemployment
4
3
Poor housing and services


Poverty
8

Famine
2

War/unsafe social situation
1

No job propects for your skills/qualifications
3
2
Government persecution
9
3
Discrimination
6

Climate
5
=1
Geographical location
7
=1
Other......................................



I found it very interesting that in the first survey, of what are the most important factors to move, that you find language is either very important or not at all. It kind of makes me think about my existence now. I have been doing a Polish language course, I do find it tough. As anyone who knows me well will know I love grand concepts and am not good with detail. While my vocabulary has increased with this course my accuracy has probably actually almost gotten worse. It disappoints me as I am a competitive person and I don't like not being able to communicate perfectly. But, not having Polish as a fluent thing in my life would never make me leave Poland and Warsaw. It was also interesting to see that the most important was a democratic system, interesting when the voter turnout in the last Parliamentary elections (last year) was only 48% (reference).
With the reasons making you leave war was number one, but it did cause a lot of debate, many of my male students actually suggested that they would actually want to stay and fight, but would send their families away if there was a war. However, more surprising was that the least important was Geographical location and climate, when the first thing people question my motives for living in Poland is the climate. I do love surveys and getting an idea of how people of my new homeland think. Sometimes, actually, most of the time, I am surprised.

2 comments:

Una Kaempt said...

Another great post.

Gee Em said...

Thanks Una, always great to hear from you.

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