Friday, October 25, 2019

Be What You Want

Much is written in the more pious sections of the Facebook short and succinct posts about whether we are ex-pats or immigrants.
The Spanish, of course, unaware of this delicate distinction, think we are all guiris.
You might think we émigrés had better things to worry about - will we be left in peace here following Brexit, will the pensions from the UK be frozen, will we still have European health coverage, and will they finally fire that awful Leaky Lee - but no, first we have to label ourselves in some way which can divide us still further, or place us in our inimitable British class system, now successfully exported to Benidorm.
Many of we Brits are against the word 'ex-pat', which is short for expatriate (ex-patria, out of our motherland) and prefer 'immigrant', nobly allying ourselves with the family of the corner-shop Pakistani in Lewisham. In truth, there are certain differences, since few of us open corner-shops, and fewer still learn to speak the local language, swat up on the Spanish constitution, its history, geography, politics, society and culture while dreaming about citizenship.
OK, so let us throw this in the ring: we are émigrés - we're never going back (unless we get deported following the Brexit shit-storm harr harr) - we live our lives here, but still congregate from time to time to speak our native language - English - among our fellow Brits. An immigrant is someone who takes out Spanish nationality. If you don't, you ain't an immigrant. That makes most of us Brits living in Spain, dwelling in English ghettos, reading The Weenie and watching Sky on satellite - ex-pats.
Expatriates. But really, call yourself what you want. Foreigner is fine. We are 'the foreigners'.
To take it a step further, until the numskulls in Westminster finally light the Brexit fuse, we are Europeans.

1 comment:

Charlie Sangster said...

I have heard the expression "isleños" or islanders applied to Brits and Irish, now there will be "isleños de primera y segunda".