Been back in the UK for 6 months. 😯
It’s been an interesting experience, some things have sometimes not gone as planned and It has been tougher than I expected. Now things are starting to get better, though I still miss my life in China.
There are many frustrating things about moving back to your home country that you don’t consider until you’re actually back here. Thins which you don’t consider before leaving. I knew the transition would be quite difficult, I had planned for it to be tough, but still there are many things about life here that is just so infuriating.
Over the past few weeks I’ve written some of the more frustrating things I’ve come across in trying to reintegrate back into UK life.
What I’ve noticed is that you start get used to things after a while, but that necessarily doesn’t mean that you like those alll of those thongs. For me the biggest advantage (or disadvantage perhaps 😕 ) of being outside the country for a while, is that I now think about many things about my life in the UK that previously I never even gave a second glance to. It’s certainly made me more critical of things and as a result of this sadly I’m getting more and more cynical.
I think there are many things to worry about living here that I never had in China.
It isn’t all to do with money but the incredibly high cost of living is a major factor- but there are other wider issues that concern me about living in the UK.
I think you basically have to realise that there really are no systems in place for British nationals coming back after living abroad for a while. It’s as if you are being punished for daring to leave the motherland! 😈
Many people are supported in various ways in the UK, actually pretty much everyone except you – because you don’t exist – and even if you did you can’t be trusted until you’ve been resident in the UK – but of course you still pay tax – Children, Old people, not-so-old-people, sick people, disabled people, certain ethnic groups, single parents, married couples, unmarried couples, gay partners, transsexuals, fat people and prisoners, the list goes on…
I wouldn’t be complaining if I paid little tax and could opt out fromt the system, but I can’t.
My views about taxation have changed considerably since living in China. I agree that people should pay tax, what I disagree with is paying such a high rate of tax on everything; inproping up an overblown controlling state apparatus, in effect supporting the system I disagree with.
As someone that has come back to the ‘motherland’ (I’m searching for a noun for this) You do not exist.
You are a non-person.
You may think (as I did) So what? What difference does that make anyway? Well, from my experience, it can make things really hard because if you have not been in the country, basically, you are not on any of the big-brother computer systems that dictate whether or not we can do something.
Because I have been out of the country for 3 years, OBVIOUSLY, I have had no UK addresses since then. This is not a difficult concept to grasp. But to the authorities you surely have something to hide, nobody leaves the UK to live abroad, right? To the government you are lower than a person that has just come out of prison, at least in their eyes they knew where they were and what they were doing!
The thing is, I can actually prove where I have been, I have various rental contracts and contracts of employment that show this, passport stamps, visas – but this is of no use to anyone in the UK.
To the UK government if you go to live in a place like China you might as well have gone to live on the moon.
For me this is exacerbated because I left here straight after university, meaning I have no investments in the UK i.e property; had not paid into the tax system, – I had nothing to link myself with here.
Here are some other issues I’ve encountered from not being in the UK:
Not eligible for many jobs. Can’t pass basic security clearance (and so many jobs unnecessarily require this) – criminal records checks. Can’t pass credit reference checks ( and so many jobs unnecessarily require this too!!!) Ineligible for many government jobs (probably a good thing 😉 ).
I just think it’s all gone too far. It’s beyond a joke – westerners may complain about many Chinese not being able to think for themselves, not being able to join-the-dots – but here people have seemingly have lost the ability to use common sense. People are constantly looking over their shoulders, worried about breaking some rule or regulation, frightened about saying something that may offend despite it being the right thing to do… Anyway
Can’t open Bank accounts as – No UK utility bills, not on the electoral roll (even though I have the right to vote, UK nationals can’t vote at UK embassies- must have UK address) no UK tax receipts, no rental agreements, mortgage statements, etc etc etc…..
Basically nothing that I can use to prove where I have been living for the last few years that they will accept. So I am an outcast It’s so annoying as there is no flexibility in the system – you are either in or out.
I feel as if every single corner of your life is tightly controlled by the government, but of course this only affects the law abiding people. It’s normal people who suffer, and so I my eyes you are effectively punished for being law abiding. This is partly why I have come to the conclusion that government and over regulation is the problem, not the solution.
The irony is that the UK is meant to be a capitalist country and China a communist, command economy – but to me it’s almost the opposite. People in the UK think that this is a democratic country, think they have rights, when in reality it is a very shallow democracy and your rights in the UK are being eroded everytime parliamant makes another law. Afterall therei s is no entrenched written constitution in the UK, and all the political leaders have been to the same schools, came from the same backgrounds;- its the same whichever country you live in… I’m not saying thatthe Chinese government is perfect, far from it. They have some disgusting practices and cause so many people to have hard lives, but my point is that generally speaking for most people living their lives, most of the time the government takes very little interest in your own affairs.