Daily Life

Dystopian society

As a privileged white girl from a good family with education from one of the oldest British Universities, never have I ever felt more like a dirty immigrant as I have in the last year in the land down under. Despite being a foreigner for the last 12 years. Despite being told countless of times that “my English is pretty good” by people that couldn’t use proper grammar if their life depended on it, this is the first time I have actually felt like a minority. 

Despite trying my best to avoid any news, some has leaked through and the stories are heartbreaking. We, of course, are not in that kind of position as we CAN leave. Using “can” in very loose terms as it’s not actually all that true. We have been on the bridging visa to permanent residency for a good part of the year, this visa does not allow us to travel internationally. Not to mention that you are not exactly allowed to travel at this late stage of pregnancy and even when the baby is on earth side, last time around it took us six months to manage to get Josefina’s Czech citizenship and passport, which allowed us to travel to homeland. We have collected her passport on the way to the airport, that’s how tight it was. 

Despite all of these administrative constraints. Yes we can actually leave. We are from a politically stable country with good economy and we have a home to come back to. Our families are healthy, thousand times knock on wood, and happy to help. Why should we though? We have built a home here, our daughter was born here. I have created a beautiful community of friends and we have blended into the easy going way of life of Gold Coast. No I am not on a hunt for a flour, which I can make Czech dumplings out of nor constantly seeking out homeland members to complain about how we miss this and that. Of course we miss the European culture, but it’s not stopping us to be active members in the Australian economy. We work, we pay taxes, we shop at the local markets, supporting local produce and products where we can. If we finally were granted the permanent residency by the clerk with too much power, we would have been investing into the local property market too. 

We are educated people at a productive childbearing age with a certain career behind us. We love to travel and to spend money in local distilleries, cafes and breweries. You know how much child care costs for four days a week when you are not a resident, but a mere dirty foreigner? It’s $440, that’s what some people pay for weekly rent. We are being sponsored by a governmental organisation that actually has Australia in the name. First our residency was postponed because I needed to provide a proof of my English language ability. Feeling like a Thai online bride, I have uploaded my IB diploma and Master’s Degree once again. This time the exact same document was accepted, essentially postponing our residency for another month. 

Another delay is even more laughable as documents that were requested were such as proving that the company is operating on Australian soil, all the while keeping in mind that not only this is information readily available online for any random person, it was information that was already provided ten times over. 

Of course I understand that everything is a business operation and I am sure it’s nice to receive $400 dollars (three times that for the family) twice rather than once because the date of your health check has expired. It’s probably better for the economy to make you take ridiculous English test every year each at a couple hundred bucks, but there must be a limit to what you can ask for when you are already charging 20k for the whole operation. 

All the while I am thinking, I am doing this for my children, I love this place, it’s so healthy and free, they are able to run barefoot and one day decide where they want to live. Now I am thinking, is this worth it? With the borders closed, not being able to see our families and at the same time unable to create and build a home here. Is it worth it to want to be part of country that so desperately does not want you back? 

With the way Australia has responded to the world epidemic, the question of freedom is also debatable. 

This is not heading into a dystopian society, this is dystopia. A place where freedom is losing its value. A place where common sense should be called rare instead. Where prematurely born child is separated from parents in those early moments when they are needed the most. Despite testing negative for corona and being vaccinated. A place where not catching a virus, which is a basic flu for most, is valued above seeing your father alive for the last time. The place where young girls become the sole carers for their partners with cancer because family coming here is a threat to the Australian citizens. Only when you can’t afford it though because when you have got the money, you are apparently not so threatening. Unfortunately this is not from the news, this is a reality that I have come in contact with. With one of my best friends having to cry in the evenings unable to see her family when this has become her home more than a decade ago. The only place with its borders closed to their own citizens.

Now what is the real threat here? Why is the price of freedom all too high? 

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