What makes refugees so disturbing to Europeans

It has been a hot summer so far in Europe. Everywhere you go, people endlessly talk of air conditioning , heat, holidays and Grexit. It is indeed the season during which Europeans travel most, fulfilling the middle classes’ need for getaways. I often find myself sitting with friends at some fancy looking cafe in downtown Bucharest complaining about the city, as if we were infested with some kind of local boredom.

‘I wish I’d just leave for another country. Right now, right away. Leave every unattended issue in my life and fly away’ – it’s not unusual to hear these words should you pass by our table. And it’s not the fact that we don’t travel- we actually do: some for business, some for adventure and others just for the pleasure of it. It’s actually the lack of challenges or conflicts in the surrounding environment that allows such narcissistic features to take upon our lives. It’s characteristic of the new European lifestyle, established after WWII with the creation of the EU. I might call it middle class now, but its roots could be found in the ‘bourgeois’ lifestyle.

But do either of us young Europeans understand the enormous privileges of living on the Old Continent? We might at a frivolous level, but deep inside it is impossible to acknowledge that we are truly living in a bubble. Continue reading →