Dear Diary

November 2, 2011

Oh, just your usual discussions of the European sovereign debt crisis and Lady Gaga. Plus, unusually: crushes!

Naomi

Lately if you turn on the news in Britain or look at a British newspaper, all you hear/read about is the “Eurozone crisis,” “bailouts,” and “European Union discussions.” I won’t pretend I understand much of what is going on—economics is not my strong point. What I gather is that there are a bunch of countries in debt from the recession that started a few years ago, and a lot of important shit is going down.

The European Union is an economic and political alliance among 27 member states, many of whom now share a single currency (the euro). It was created right after World War II to stabilize Europe’s economies and help create peace among its nations. Britain has been part of the European Union since 1973. But I have never felt, nor will I ever feel, “European.” I feel very British. And I get sentimental over the British pound (£), so I’m glad in a way that we haven’t adopted the euro.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world completely, the Queen is visiting Australia. One of the Queen’s duties is to tour countries within the commonwealth, and she is paying special attention to the victims of the floods in Brisbane early this year. I’m of two minds on the subject of the Queen, and royalty in general. On one hand, I’m a republican (not like an American Republican—here it means you believe that a nation should be governed solely by elected representatives, and are against preserving the monarchy). On the other hand, in the UK, the monarchy’s role is largely ceremonial. The Queen is pretty harmless. And what she does do, she’s very good at: refusing help to walk down steps at the age of 80-something, meeting a lot of people, collecting flowers off said people, timidly waving. I feel like Australia is our favourite, really rad cousin somehow. A cousin who’s cooler and younger and SURFS. In the UK it’s like we’re all siblings: England (oldest), Scotland (second oldest), Wales (third oldest), and Northern Ireland (youngest, and therefore, in my opinion, brushed to the side a little too often). We hate one another sometimes but really love one another very much deep down.

This all might sound crazy complicated to North American readers. Sometimes it seems to me that the United States is lots of little countries joined together in name. America’s landscapes alone span the whole range, never mind the cultures. So it’s easy to understand how some (a few) Americans seem lost in their own sprawling nation, oblivious to the outside world. Why would you need the outside world when you have everything right there?! The U.S. is, to us across the pond, like the rich kid you try to learn a lot about so that one day you can impress them with your knowledge and strike up a conversation.

The world is a complicated place. As you can see, I like to make it less complicated by personifying every country. All I know, from studying history (finally finished German unification—bye, Bismarck, and good riddance), is that Europe has been quite a volatile place for a long time. Since the European Union was created, it’s has been pretty much (dare I say it) peaceful. So I like being friends with Europe, but I’m not quite ready to call it family. ♦

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12 Comments

  • Marguerite November 2nd, 2011 7:21 PM

    I could never see Britain without the Queen, like what would happen to their family if Britain went republican… would they just become ordinary people? But She’s So Cute! I love you Elizabeth! You are my queen :D – I love Gaga and Hair! Its one of my favs from her… haha Bad Romance came of at a wedding i was recently at and everyone was looking stupid – hilarious!

  • Ruby B. November 2nd, 2011 7:25 PM

    Oh my gosh! I love this! I have been waiting all day for this and it was totally worth it! At 7 when it didn’t pop up I started freaking out until I refreshed it. I love you, Rookie! <3 And I love Katherine's diary!

    Ruby
    therubylotus.wordpress.com

  • Vikki November 2nd, 2011 7:41 PM

    Fleet Foxes… Oooooooooooooo…

  • I.ila November 2nd, 2011 8:11 PM

    Katherine… At my school you would be by no means weird. anyone who doesn’t listen to different types of music, wear flannel, and occasionally have dance parties wearing odd clothing to Justin Beiber would be termed quite odd, in fact. And nobody, save about 10 people per grade of about 60, has a real partner.

  • emilyelizabeth November 2nd, 2011 8:45 PM

    katherine, you rock!
    dylan, i’m with you on the enthusiasm thing. i told myself i was going to stop pretending to be apathetic and just be as excited about things as i really am.

  • annagracie November 2nd, 2011 8:46 PM

    i love Fleet Foxes…

  • Maddy November 2nd, 2011 9:09 PM

    Dude! That Gaga thing sounds amazing! In a movie you would be surrounded by people cheering you on because your moves (via Gaga) were executed so flawlessly that you were the coolest person alive and you all bonded as sweaty high school friends for one glorious night.

  • jenjencm November 2nd, 2011 9:34 PM

    Dylan: I also kinda have a crush on a guy across the street from me, too! I played hard to get but, don’t do that for too long or else you’ll end up like us. We don’t even talk anymore but, playing hard to get isn’t the whole reason why there’s more to the story. I just wanted to warn you so you don’t end up like us.

  • erin November 2nd, 2011 9:50 PM

    Naomi, you should go to satwcomic.com, which stands for Scandinavia and the World. It’s a comic website by a danish girl, and she has little people (a boy and a girl) for each country, who usually signify the general stereotypes of that country. While she usually does comics about the scandinavian country (just to intrigue you, denmark, who lurvs alcohol, sweden, who has glasses and is secretly gay, norway, who has curly hair and is besties with denmark, finland, who always carries a knife and a scowl, and iceland, who has sparkles. just sayin) she always does stuff about the other countries. In her comics, England is the father of America, Canada, and Australia. They are hilarious, and actually quite educational. I now know an uncommon amount about Scandinavian countries and their people compared to my fellow American youths.
    And I can also totally relate to Katherine’s situation… I didn’t get asked to my homecoming dance cause I’m too creepy and socially awkward :/ but whatevs, it’s partially my fault, since my best guy friend was going to ask me, but then I found out he liked me and freaked out and made my best friend tell him not to ask me. because I am really nice and mature. luckily, things aren’t awkward anymore. well, not that much.

    • Naomi November 3rd, 2011 7:13 PM

      ah! thank you! that is so cool

  • sobrina November 2nd, 2011 9:50 PM

    Dylan, you speak to my soul. I am THE WORST at playing hard to get because I am always so enthused by absolutely everything. And it makes crushing very exciting, but also potentially very embarrassing.

  • julalondon November 3rd, 2011 3:54 PM

    Naomi, this was really great to read. As a european myself (who used to live in england) i kind of feel the same way! Thank you!