Friday, May 19, 2006

First World Refugee

As an attorney, I appreciate and support equal application of the law. That being said, as someone that has 3 days to leave the country, I find myself caught between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law -- with the clock ticking.

I think I have the spirit of the law covered. I don't want asylum. I'm not looking for a work permit. I'm not on the public dole. I am blessed to have a country that will accept me back, and a home to return to. I have sufficient financial means that allow me not to work while I am a guest in Belgium. I have Belgian health insurance and we pay rent (which, incidentally, is grossly disproportionate to the rents the locals pay for apartments in the same area, simply because we are "expats"). I'm not protesting Belgian laws or demanding anything. I just want to live with Dan while he works and resides, legally, in this country. We have taken steps to obtain the appropriate authorization for me to do so, but somehow, something has fallen through the cracks. As unbelievable as the situation may be, I realize that I am one of the fortunate ones.

But, according to the letter of the law, or, the Ordre de Quitter le Territoire to be exact, I need to leave. And, leave I will. It's a shame, really, because, even though I have been cursed at (in more than one language), forced to use the men's toilet, reduced to tears over 4 cents in a department store, tram-wrecked, evacuated by threat of bomb, laughed at, stalked, rained/sleeted/hailed/snowed on, propositioned by more than one dirty old man, deprived of Mexican food, insulted, forced to engage in road rage, beaten by an old lady with a cane, terrorized by the very spawn of Satan, and concussed, I was beginning to adjust to life in Brussels.

While many have suggested that I stay and fight the issue, I really do have to draw the line at being a first world-refugee. It's bad enough that I'm being deported. I don't want to hit refugee status, or, God forbid, spend any time in a jail. It just looks bad on future Visa applications.

For me, it's not a political issue. It's merely a bump in the road. Hopefully, everything will be straightened out soon. I'll keep you posted. (Thanks for all the kinds support and the great emails, sent publicly and privately.)

© 2006 by Cindy Lane. All rights reserved.


Blogger woman wandering said...

But ... pipes up the kiwi. Belgium is like Italy, they make crazy laws and then they find ways around them and help others to find ways around them ... it's all a strange kind of facade. It's 'bendable' law as opposed to 'straight' law.

And have you checked ... if you leave, they may not let you back in for 3 months ... and will you have to begin residency all over again?

Sigh, I can't believe you might leave.

5:47 PM  
Blogger Sunshine in San Diego said...

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7:52 PM  
Blogger woman wandering said...

You're living in sin ... dear god, how shameless, no wonder they're throwing you out!!

Lol, me too, but I'm in ;) Well, resident anyway ... only took 7 long frustrating, sometimes debilitating months.

Perhaps they'll never let me work so as to give me time to truly examine my black sinning living-with-a-man-outside-the-bounds-of-matrimony heart.

36 years years under the radar ... a quiet 'wow' from the too-noisy kiwi.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Cindy Lane said...

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11:27 PM  
Blogger Sunshine in San Diego said...

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12:34 AM  
Blogger Elana said...

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7:43 PM  

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