The year 2018 was a year where a lot of things took place.
It was the first year since 2012 where I stopped paying a monthly fine for illness in my family. The burden of paying DKK 41 per child every single day for treatment which should have been covered by the taxes I pay as a Dane stopped. For five years and 6 months the first thought of the day was how to raise this extra sum while still providing for family and the last thought of the day how to do it tomorrow has covered my entire life. There was no room for anything extra. No travels abroad as a family. No plans for the future. Forget reaching out for higher goals, planning career or even thinking about how to guide your children towards a brighter future.
No everything and anything has been about raising the extra money. “You did appeal that?” people have asked me when they learned about this bizarre decision. Yes. I appealed that. This year I learned that the city administration in Egedal had my case stored somewhere without any case handling going on stored at a lawyer. For 2 years I continued to pay while none looked at my appeal. For 2 years I had to endure tears in the eyes of my family when the lack of funds forced them to questioned if there would be food on the table at the dinner. If they should drop out of school because they could not afford the transport to school.
I work 31 kilometers from home. I use my bicycle and it take between 1,5 hour and 2 hours depending of the weather. “Why do you not use public transport?” co-workers outside Denmark ask me. First it is too expensive to live far from your work. Public transport become more expensive every year. There is a tax-deduction for people like me who live far away from work but it is based on the cost of gas for cars and while the prices of gas has been stable, the costs of using public transport has not. Siden year 2001 the price of using public transport has increased 30 percent more compared to average prices in our society.
If you look at Denmark signs of a kind of road-pricing barrier is appearing. Housing with low rents are purchased by the US based investment firms who lure the old renters out while the make so-called improvements to the houses which triples the rent. If you work ordinary jobs in the shops or in the police, you cannot afford an apartment in the larger cities in Denmark. If you will study it is difficult to find something unless your parents can buy an apartment together with other parents. So social heritage does matter in Denmark. If you are new to Denmark you might come with a naive believing in that you can be anything. Think twice!
It is in that turmoil I am bringing up two children. One is adult now but carries the burden of the injustice done against her. The diagnosis and recommendations from Hillerod Hospital ignored has resulted in all the warnings of what could end up worse come to life. A long struggle in life awaits her.
My youngest is now 16. He came home this summer. Unfortunately home to an uphill battle as a computer we purchased second hand did not work as intended and because computers are vitale in the modern education sector the possibility of him succeeding is not certain. Part of the problem is that he had 13 math. teachers during his time in school. The government in Denmark decided to amputate the education sector by forcing a school reform into existence financed by lowering of the teachers salaries. Of course many teachers left their job because the new salary system forced them into other lines of businesses. The children – my son among them became victim of the school reform. Now he will have to find a position to stay in until he can reach his pension age. The most important thing in life for him will be to learn the lesson of settle with less and not reaching out for goals which are for people who got private schooling instead of public schooling which is something out of reach for families with ordinary income.
My health did not improve during the year. I have tried many forms of training without any improvement. The traffic accident in 2016 has made me an invalid. I become tired very fast. Pain in neck and back is something I experience several times per week. November I together with my family started a new fitness program. Hopefully it will contribute to a life with less pain.
Where there not anything good to be said about 2018?
Yes. There was.
Two holidays I spend together with my family. The first one went to Paris. I was the first time since 2001, I traveled together with my family to a foreign country if we leave the small one-day visits to Malmo out. Malmo has sadly been the center of shootings and bombings so it has been some years since we were, but it is a nice city. However Paris is a totally other ballgame. It was a nice visit.
The second place we visited was Rhodes inviting by my inlaws. It was also a good vacation. Sadly I got the flu but it does not change the facts that we were given a one-in-a-lifetime experience, we would never have been able to make on our own.
I will remember those two holidays for the years I have left.
Now only one destination is lacking with us a family travelling together. We hope to do it in year 2021 and then it is done. We would have seen the world and it is time to focus on surviving the last few years in Denmark.
While I have not been able to produce my utmost due to my injuries, I spent a year more at my present workplace grateful that I have been allowed to serve there despite my advanced aging. If only retirement came sooner everything would look better.
Both the battle and war for a good life has been lost thanks to the monthly payment. The damage is irreversible. My final hope is to win in the state lottery, so 2019 and the years to come will be executed serving my workplace while waiting and see if there is a chance to win.
That was 2018 for me. 2019 is ahead of both me and my family. Uphill it will be but the hope of a win is still there and it will be the one bright light at the end of the tunnel we will be aiming at.