MONICA

"The day after the vote I was told that I would be kicked out of the country by my classmates, and to go back to my own country by complete strangers, just because I spoke in my native language."

Shot around one of her favourite places in London, Piccadilly Circus.

Nationality: Greek / Irish.

 

Location: London.

 

Occupation: Actress.

 

How long have you lived in the U.K.?

8 Years, between Northern Ireland and London.

Why did you move to the U.K.?

I always knew I wanted to come to the U.K. I often went to Northern Ireland to see my relatives that lived there, and I always dreamed of living in London. When I turned 18 I moved to Northern Ireland to study, and 3 years later I moved to London to continue my studying.

What does your family think about you living in the U.K.?

They always knew I was going to leave Greece. My mother is from Northern Ireland, and my older sister actually moved to the U.K. 5 years before I did, so that helped ease their minds a little.

As a European, what's it like living in the U.K.?

The way of life is completely different. The U.K. seems to be ahead of the times in many ways, but everything is very fast paced and we always seem to be in a rush. In Corfu, where I grew up, people are incredibly laid back, and everything seems to move in a quieter pace. Both lifestyles have their benefits, I just wish there was a middle ground. 

 

What do you dislike about living in the U.K.?

This is a very hard question. I guess if I had to pick something it would be the lack of communication. We don't seem to want to talk to each other. This was a hard transition for me, because I grew up striking conversations with strangers on buses to pass the time. In fact, I made many of my friends simply by chatting to them.

What do you think about Brexit?

I'm scared, because it promotes xenophobia. The day after the vote I was told that I would be kicked out the country by my classmates, and to go back to my own country by complete strangers, just because I spoke in my native language. 

On top of that, the amount of lies that was fed to the public during the referendum was shocking. I'm referring to the money they claimed they'd be saving by leaving the EU that would go to the NHS, which is now slowly being made private. 

 

This is a worldwide problem though, as many politicians use xenophobia as a way to convince people that they should do what they say. It's not the first case, and unfortunately I don't believe it will be the last. 

 

Will you stay in the U.K. after the Brexit transition period?

Yes, I love the U.K. I have built a life here, and I have met many wonderful people I'm proud to call my friends. Brexit is just a bump in the road.

What would you like people who voted Brexit to know?

I would like them to understand that most people crossing British borders don't do it to cause harm, but because they love this country and they want to build a better life. If anything they should be flattered! With todays transportation we can go anywhere in the world, but we chose to come here. The U.K. has many amazing and beautiful places to visit, and the people are fascinating with an amazing sense of humour.

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