15 April 2009

Thoughts Over Lunch (Chomper's Troubles)

Lunch.  Chilli.  Chow mein.  Black spot on the table.  Sahuji is washing dishes by the brick wall.  Fences, barbed wire.  Abandoned machinery.  Abandoned country.  Nepal.

Everywhere you look there are signs advertising businesses that get you "guaranteed visas" for Australia.  The US, the UK.  Switzerland.  Japan.  I've even seen the Phillipines.  Visas are not something that can be guaranteed ...anywhere as far as I know.  My quick google serach has suggested that getting a student visa for study in Australia could cost you up to $4500 and even then, the Australian Government might decide that you're not up to scratch.  There are signs for universities, jobs, permanent residency.  Emigration is big business and people will pay truckloads for it.

"Why is your country better than mine?"  I have been asked.  It wasn't accusatory.  It was remarkably innocent.  Well I think it was anyway.  Yet it still hit me like a persian sword through the belly, and left a marked impression, because it was asked 8 months ago.  I had absolutely no idea what to say in response then and I still have no idea now.  

You can understand why people want to go to Australia.  Its a great place.  It offers good universities, well paid jobs, power, water (in most places), roads on which you can fit more than a small bicycle and when it develops a pothole you can guarantee that someone has written an obstinate letter to the council.  For the elderly and school aged children, crossing the road doesn't have to be a 5 second course in Darwinism.  

Some people will go to Australia to study and bring their skills back here.  Some won't, if I were to hazard a guess, I'd suggest that its the minority.  As an Australian can you imagine how things would have to be for you to leave your home country just to make a living? Probably not.

Its sad that this is the case, but it is.  Is there one thing that we can put our fingers on and say, "if this weren't an issue anymore, poeople could live good prosperous lives in Nepal?"  If the government weren't corrupt, if there was power for businesses to thrive, if there was safe (or any) water to clean the dishes and feed the children.  If health services were distributed evenly.  If the roads were better eliminating, the geographical challenges that seperate vast areas of the country..  Just to think that if the World Health Organisation was really ever serious about "Health for All by 2000" they might have spent 10 minutes hearing about the issues facing Nepal and they might have revised their deadline?  Surely there are countries all over the world that have similar issues that are never just going to go away because WHO wishes it so in a feel-good policy.

Don't get me wrong.  Many people are thriving despite these setbacks.  But many are also suffering.  I don't know what my point is.  Perhaps its just that I would love to see people going abroad for the experience, or because they want to.  Not because they feel they have no options left in their homeland.

6 comments:

Amy xxoo said...

You're 100% right - you shouldnt have to leave you're homeland, everything you own, the people you love.... just in order to survive. Its not fair and its not right but unfortunately thats the way the world works for now....

Dash said...

that's the way the world works for now?

I can't say that I like that response one little bit. But again, I don't really know what I was hoping for. Will it be better next week?

Tim said...

Maybe not next week...I'm afraid a communist world society is all we need! A good one that doesn't stuff up.....Might be a fair way off!

Dash said...

now i have a communist for a brother..yippee

Amy xxoo said...

What i meant by thats how the world works for NOW.... is that it has the potential to change. Its not the way it has to be forever, these conditions are not set in stone... its people like you who recognise the need for change that can actually make that change happen.

Do you like that answer better?

Dash said...

sorry amy, don't think so. I don't like the idea that is should be acceptable in a way that we can just say "that's how it is"...but then, you are right, its not something that can be fixed overnight. i think i'm getting caught up in semantics...or soemthing