Back in time
In August this year me and my family moved back in time. Yes, I know it sounds crazy but it is kind of true - we moved to the United Kingdom. We got the chance to move to a place just outside London for three years, which was an opportunity we could not turn down.
The timing could of course have been better, with me recently joining the Veterinaire Specialisten, the new clinic slowly taking form just down the road from our home in Vught, etc. But moving to London was a chance that we as a family did not want to turn down and given that it only takes 5-6 h. to drive door to door, I can still regularly work in the clinic here in Oisterwijk/Vught. In the UK I work at an internationally staffed hospital called North Downs Specialist Referrals just south of London. It is a very well equipped hospital with specialists from all different colleges making it a truly enjoyable place to work, almost as nice as the Veterinaire Specialisten.
Please, don’t get me wrong when I say that moving to the UK is like moving back in time. I love the UK and having lived here 2001-2004 we were keen to move back and to my delight almost nothing had changed (apart from that most people have iPhones instead of those little bright colored Nokia phones that were so popular in the beginning of the zeros, if you can remember those). You can still pay by paper checks, people still go into the bank office to get cash, it’s still freezing cold in most houses as they only have single glazed windows, and for the same reason every room has a thick carpet, even the bathrooms…. But also all the amazingly charming things and traditions are still there; such as afternoon tea with scones and clotted cream at one of the many castles or manor houses that plotted around Britain, Sunday lunch at the local pubs in idyllic villages scattered around the country side etc.
And the best thing, from a dog lover’s perspective, dogs are still allowed to come along almost everywhere. You can let your dog roam freely in most parks, they are allowed into most cafes and restaurants, and people genuinely like and care for, not only their dogs, but for all creatures great and small. This deep rooted love for animals in this country makes it so nice to work here as a veterinarian. That in combination with almost 80% of all dogs being insured makes working life more interesting and rewarding as diagnostic work ups can be performed based on what is needed instead of what is affordable, and only very rarely do I have to face the horrible discussion where owners cannot afford to pay for necessary, lifesaving treatments.
We were of course a bit concerned as we were moving against the stream with all the talk about the looming Brexit but so far I have not seen any adverse signs of the pending exit from the EU other than my UK salary being worth a bit less compared to the euro… Quite quickly however, I realized that it is very unlikely that all foreigners will be asked to leave the UK once Brexit takes place as this country is leaning heavily on their foreign work force. To give an example: in the hospital where I work only about 10-15% of all the specialists are British and I have come to understand that this also holds true for many human hospitals. So this said, I am not concerned about being kicked out of the country anytime soon.