Living Spontaneously: 31 January 2020

Me: “I’m still not sure if I should go. The virus looks out of control in China.”

My colleague: “I think London is OK for the time being. What does M say?”

Me: “He is not too worried about the virus. He just does not want me to be out and about all by myself in the evening. He will join me tomorrow after he finishes his training.”

My colleague: “You’ll be fine.”

My other colleague: “I just talked to one of my colleagues back in London. It seems a big group will land to Heathrow from China tomorrow for a Huawei meeting or something.”

When the clock hit 18:00, I grabbed my backpack and left for London. I took one of the National Express buses. I was very excited. I was going to witness a historical moment. At 11 pm on the same day, the U.K. was going to leave the European Union. I knew people would gather in front of the parliament to celebrate it.

I do not like discussing politics at all because my knowledge in the field is very limited. All I can guess is that managing and making happy millions of people in a country is not an easy task. I could never be a politician and take all those responsibilities, and I’m happy that some people do that profession happily.

So, the U.K. decided to leave the EU back in 2016. And the EU said that if that was what the U.K population wanted, the U.K. could leave. I am not a history expert, but as far as my historical knowledge goes, back in the day, when groups of people wanted to have independence, it usually led to wars. I am very happy to witness that the separation of the U.K. from the European Union took place peacefully. Yes, it might have taken four years of negotiations to do so, but not a single person got physically hurt in the process. I think this is a big and positive step in our evolution.

I never went to any type of mass gatherings in my country or the other countries I lived in because mass gatherings tend to be dangerous. In the U.K, there is a different atmosphere. One of the many things I like about the U.K is that people respect one another. I’ve been living here for three years now, and I only witnessed two occasions where people yelled at one another. So, before I left for London on the 31st January, I knew that I would be safe.

And it was safe. I saw a small group of people that gathered in front of Parliament Square. Nigel Farange was making a speech. I did not go near the crowd, I preferred watching the event from the bridge. I was trying to be cautious in any case. And when Big Ben hit 11 pm, the group cheered in unison. And five minutes after that, the organizers thanked people for showing up and said that the show was over. And the group dissolved peacefully. For me, that scene on 31 January 2020 was a scene of a civilized country.

The next morning, I hit the streets early in the morning, to see if the city looked any different. I think I was searching for a movie-like scene. Where kids would run about with newspapers in their hands, and shout “the U.K. has left the EU!!!”. I saw nothing of that sort. Everything in London looked the same as before.

Now, fast forward to December 2020. The newspapers say that the U.K. and the EU have peacefully reached a deal. It will be a fresh start for both parties starting from January 1, 2021.

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