Celeste and Katrina in Scotland between Brexit and Covid: “There wasn’t even milk for a milkshake”

Celeste and Katrina in Scotland between Brexit and Covid:
by Cecilia Rossi

URBINO – In Edinburgh, early in the morning, when Celeste and Caterina leave for work, the streets are full and from time to time you have to press against walls or gates to get to the sidewalk without bumping into other passers-by . The city, at the end of September, is alive and pulsating after months of deserted streets and silent parks. In the same period that the streets are filled, however, the shelves are emptied with the stock of restaurants and supermarkets. And because of Brexit, the shortage of milk for milkshakes also ends.

a plane to scotland

Celeste is walking down the street to McDonald’s where she works as a shift manager. Over the uniform he wears a sweatshirt to keep warm and immediately leaves it in a corner of the office to check on the progress of orders and the work of his colleagues. Celeste Prussian Born and raised in Fossombron, and after high school years, in the classic “Raffaello” in Urbino, she boarded a plane to Scotland at the age of 19.

Today he is 23 years old, completed last April, and while talking about the many ideas he got for his last birthday, he jokes: “The biggest gift was the correction of my supervisor’s thesis”. Celeste graduated with full marks in computer science at Edinburgh’s Napier University in June, which she attended for her four-year bachelor’s degree, and where she decided to continue her studies for a master’s degree. Unlike what happens in Italy, it lasts only one year.

fail function

“It was a great relief to graduate: in the spring I worked, studied and wrote my thesis, I was going crazy. However, it was very disappointing to find that there would be no graduation ceremony at the university, as in Here it is always in the last semester”. In fact, in the United Kingdom there is a “graduation ceremony”: all graduates of a faculty come to the university on the same day, wear a toga and a touch on the head and receive a parchment. do which officially marks the entry into the category “in doctors”. None of last June, due to the restrictive measures introduced by the British government to contain the pandemic.

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friend, tenant, co-worker

To support himself in his studies, he immediately started working at McDonald’s. “It was hard at first to get used to the Scottish accent when taking orders. After a while I started to understand, but now the masks are worse than before, you don’t understand anymore”.
he works with her Caterina Micheli, 24 years old, was born and raised in Urbino, where she graduated with full marks in foreign languages ​​and literature at ‘Carlo Bo’. Katherine has lived in Scotland for a year, in a house she shares with Celeste in the Western Quarter of Gorgi. they join in a video call with duchy In contrast to the brown carpet covering the floor, little left of the day from their living room with high white walls illuminated by the sun.

no more milk and juice

At work he keeps his dark hair tucked behind his ordinance cap, where the multinational’s proverbial Yellow M stands out. Tell duchy About a little oddity that happened recently: “For two weeks, in early September, we no longer received milk and juice deliveries from McDonald’s suppliers. This meant completely eliminating ice cream, milkshakes and other drinks from the menu. When customers asked us when these products would be back, we didn’t know what to say.”

Brexit as a taboo

Celeste says: “Not only here at work. There was neither milk nor meat in the supermarket at that time. I don’t think it’s just because of the coronavirus, which forced sick workers into their homes, as my bosses told me. I think the mismanagement of new trade deals after Brexit also has something to do with it. But here at work, where there are foreigners other than us, this is a taboo subject. On the other hand, in the elections held in 2016 also the population was completely divided and we do not want to create any quarrel.” Now the missing products are back, but who knows for how long. Guardian, One of the leading British newspapers, he said in an article That the shortage of some products will be due to factors such as Brexit, the pandemic and the lack of components from China.

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A city “that never looked the same”

Caterina and Celeste spent last summer in Italy, visiting friends and relatives and getting vaccinated. When they left in June, it was still not possible for their age group in Scotland. They both got the green pass, they didn’t do anything special. For now there is no control but the Scottish Prime Minister Announced that “Covid-Passport” will be introduced from October 1, a certificate similar to the Italian Green Pass to be able to access certain public places.

Whereas actually from July 19 There is no longer any compulsion to wear masks in the rest of the UK In a closed public environment, not even on the means of transport, In Scotland the government has decided to maintain liability in all enclosed spaces, “But we consistently see that a lot of people are simply taking it off, even our customers,” says Celeste.

“It was quite shocking to me: I went to Scotland for the first time in September 2020 and the next winter we are forced to stay indoors, except when necessary, always with a mask on.” Bars and pubs full of people to come back and explore, drove me without a trace to a city that didn’t seem like it anymore.”

“But they will never take away our freedom!”

After the day shift we make arrangements to go out in the evening with the companions. “Clubs have reopened” Celeste explains “and before the pandemic I used to dance there often, but now I don’t think so. The boys here don’t seem worried: many of them are already suffering from coronavirus and the UK want to be free like the other residents of

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While Scots try to reclaim their lost independence, many Europeans find themselves beset by Brexit. “A friend of mine should have been au pair in England this fall, but work visa for unionizedThis is only allowed if you have relatives or have spent at least one month in the UK in 2020. He will eventually go to Ireland.

glimpse of mediocrity

With September, even lessons at school and university resume in a mix of excitement and anxiety. “The one I go to is a small university and our professors have been ordered to put all lessons online that have more than 40 students. Luckily I have courses with classes of 10, even fewer ones, in master’s degrees “now three-quarters of lessons are in attendance”, says Celeste.

For the past few weeks, Katrina has been attending an evening theater course every Tuesday. She had to wait 12 months to get in touch with other actors, not through the screen. “We are not forced to keep the mask on during rehearsals” he explains, “we are always well-spaced and the circle we make during practice always has a gel in the center with which if we When using props, get disinfected” and concluded. With a smile full of hope, “Theatre is a discipline that requires presence and energy, which can only come from sharing. We are slowly returning to it.”


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