The Truth about Goats
As the number of people displaced by war and persecution reaches a record level, many of those forced to flee have questioned the wisdom of taking a break from their usual ‘hurly burly’ lifestyle, by spending two weeks in a container ‘shitting into a carrier bag’. For many the experience has been less like Inter-Railing through Europe with Audrey Hepburn and more like getting fished out of the Mediterranean Sea with Robert Maxwell.
While the likes of Nigel Farage talk about the romance, glamour and financial rewards in abandoning your homeland; some refugees are less enthused – one said: ‘I was hoping to spend a lot more time drinking beer on a beach, pretending to find myself. Instead I spent three months dodging land mines and just trying to find fresh water. Trust me, it doesn’t feel such a ‘lonely planet’, when you’re crammed into a Red Cross camp with 80,000 other people’.
Although, not all refugee expeditions have been negative, with one veteran commenting: ‘It was a totes amazing experience. I met some incredibly spiritual people – ‘Mustafa the Human Trafficker’, ‘Boris the Knife’ and his friend ‘Rapey Mike’. I’ve also discovered things about myself. Like, I can go without food for weeks at a time. Or skills I never know I had – like quickly learning to swim when our raft capsized or how to hang off the bottom of a moving truck’.
All refugees agree that contrary to the brochures, there were few opportunities to ride elephants, get a lotus tattoo or acquire anecdotes for their UCAS statement. A UN spokesman refused to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis: ‘If anything, this is a testament to the success of our holiday packages in North Africa and the Middle East. We’re helping people to broaden their horizons, lose excess weight and baggage. Imagine backpacking through a hail of bullets? No one is going to describe your holiday snaps as boring’.