If I’m honest, mentally I left England’s fair shores the moment I met Jacky in Mexico in March.
It was only when I returned home after those 11 precious days that I actually realised all the reasons why.
Since then I’ve found myself becoming increasingly infuriated by the UK’s continuous attempts to reach into my pocket.
It’s only really when you’re trying your best to save money that you realise how many people are trying to take it from you.
In the past few weeks I’ve cancelled my phone contract, Sky TV, internet, car insurance etc, settled up, and walked away.
But in the space of a week these ‘providers’ have all been on the phone again asking me to consider a different tariff or package “best suited to my needs”.
“Er, I’m leaving the country – as I explained to one of your three million colleagues – so I don’t need a UK phone, oh and I don’t have a UK home to watch said Sky TV in so...” go figure.
“Do you realise how much you could be saving by blah blah blah...?”
Um, do YOU realise that you’re shortening your life by gassing on so much?!
In law there really should be a thinner line when it comes to what constitutes ‘harassment’.
Oh and the cost of cancelling my car insurance...? £50. And I’m now expecting a letter or email charging me the £4 admin fee for making ‘changes to the policy’.
On reflection we’re all encouraged to ‘shop locally’ and ‘save our high streets’ from commercial decline, but what real incentive is there to actually do so?
The fact is that if something is available for a cheaper price – like online, why would we spend more?
Yes, I’m all for helping to save the local shop – and the local jobs – but I can’t help but feel that we’re all being taken for granted.
I was further reminded of all this profiteering earlier when I popped down to the local Co-op to grab a few bits.
The young girl behind the till scanned all my groceries and stocked them up in an untidy fashion on the other side of the till.
“Have you got a bag for these?” I asked.
“I’m afraid there’s a charge now for the bags,” was her reply.
“Helping to save the earth are you?” I asked half-jokingly.
“Humpf,” she replied.
More like half blatant profiteering trying to pull the wool over the consumers’ eyes, I thought.
Of course Co-op bosses and the like will argue that it ‘helps to cut down on waste’ by tempting people to think twice about using excess bags, but hey I’m guessing that the profits of selling the bags won’t go to Greenpeace.
Even a ‘penny sweet’, by its mere definition, costs more than it actually says on the tin.
I don’t really know what’s happened to this country. I mean, when did we – the consumer – stop arguing the toss?
It seems that we’re now all too happy to go along with what is dictated to us by the people who rely on us to survive for business.
I’m not saying that things will be remarkably different in Mexico. Sure each community has its ups and downs.
All I can say is that somehow, we’ve all become mugs.
Furthermore who would want to tackle the high street with so many young families armed with prams so big they could be used as props in the next Gulliver’s Travels film?
It seems that the recession is inadvertently helping to increase the creaking global population.
I guess people can’t afford to go out and pay for entertain, so instead they stay at home and well, make their own ‘entertainment’ which – nine months later – results in a bigger bill than that Saturday night out would have cost.
Oh and ‘fuel duty’.
There, those two simple words have enough weight to enrage even the most placid of individuals.
When I mentioned to a Mexican friend that it costs the equivalent of $1,860 Mexican Pesos to fill up my small Alfa Romeo he fell about laughing.
“Why?!” he asked. I wish I had the answer other than that of Government , petrol station, and oil company, greed.
Also ever noticed how things seem to cost a great deal more in Cornwall during the summer months?
“We know they’re coming so why don’t we put up the price of the car park or pasty?” they seem to think.
It seems that these businesses spend the cold winter months snuggled up in their nest eggs thinking of new ways to rip us off.
We spent £5 in February to park the car in Bantham by the beach. There were like three cars alongside ours so the car park owners hardly lucked in. They simply made us think twice about parking there again.
So there you have it.
A friend asked me ‘why’ I was moving to Mexico.
“Why not?!” I replied, and began to list just some of my reasons – not forgetting the smoking hot Latin girl waiting for me.
So by now you’re either thinking ‘lucky git’ for catching a break to make a break from England, or you’re simply wishing me to shut up and quit my bitching.
Ho hum. I promise my next entry will return to a happier note.
I’ll be smiling from ear to ear knowing that I’ve left all the bullsh*t behind.