Today, I feel ashamed.
As you know, I have a few problems with my body, mostly caused by the fact that it was created too long ago and has long since passed its Best Before date.
But today I feel ashamed to even mention these difficulties.
I have not been living in the middle of a civil war. The closest I have ever been to living in a war . . . civil or uncivil . . . was lying in a bed in Saint Petersburg listening to fireworks in the city. I was not in danger of being shot or bombed or raped or beheaded, though, of course, my overactive imagination did flirt with these possibilities.
I have not had to gather my belongings into a carrier bag or flee with my child and her teddy bear into the desert. Would I be able to get internet access out there in the said desert? If not, how could I survive there?
I have not had to walk to another country and then walk . . . yes, walk! . . . to another continent, where they don’t speak English and where the governments sit and watch my friends and family drown. I have gone to another continent, but I flew there, and just assumed they would understand me if I shouted loud enough.
I have not been herded into trains and buses with no idea of what was happening to me, though this does rather sound like public transport in the UK. I have not had to walk from Budapest to Berlin, learn German and get a job and hold my family together while the British moan and moan about economic migrants as though it was a holiday for me to walk the earth in fear and exhaustion . . . some masochistic lifestyle choice.
Europe should be the continent of civilisation and culture, a safe haven for the refugee. Being in a wheelchair is no fun, but it is as nothing to the pain and fear and determination of the Syrian refugees.