Monday, February 25, 2013

Am I in Luxembourg or in Mordor?

Image by James0309

Luxembourg is beautiful and like most of the attractive places it has a really dark side. In Luxembourg the dark side is open and it shines in front of everybody. People are aware of it and do nothing to change it, they love it.
Coming from South East Asia, stopping in Spain and now being in Luxembourg I feel like Frodo who goes from the nice and happy Shire to Mordor. 

Some words to describe my Luxembourg experience:

Greed: People here say “I don’t like to live in Luxembourg, but I have to”. They have to because they want money no matter what. They are here because they want to be rich. They are here because they don’t want to drive a Peugeot, they want to be like most of the people, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche. They come here because they smell the money and they want some of it. That would be fine if it wasn’t that they take it to another level: Greed. And we all know what happens when greed comes into place. 

No morality and no respect for the other: Apparently everything is fine. Nobody smiles but they all seem to be fine with each other. The reality is that in Luxembourg the work relations are similar to what they are in developing countries. People working 14 hour work days and getting paid for 8h. Bosses calling employees at 11pm at home. Bosses calling telling their workers to start jobs that know will take them 4 hours at 9pm. Really strict hierarchy. No respect for female workers in the shape of nasty commentaries about their body and how they would put them under the table. The list is endless. Not all the companies are like this but at least the ones in the financial sector are.
No fun: at 8pm there is nobody on the streets, only people walking back from work with really sad faces.
Aggressivity: I have seen the same number of accidents after 10 days in Luxembourg than after 1 year in South East Asia. Cars here drive fast and dangerously. The Luxembourgian takes the frustrations from their work to their car.

Positive things about Luxembourg:

They understand my French: My favourite thing is that I can speak French and people actually understand me! People in Luxembourg speak a number of languages and they are so used to accents  (40% of the population is not from Luxembourg) that they understand my French!!!

Sculptures: walking around the city is like being in a museum, Calder, Henry Moore, Richard Serra, Fernand Léger, you name them!  

1 friend: There are always flowers around if you look for them, and we have made a friend that I hope I will see again very soon!

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