Recently, it seems, there has been an increasing trend in this fair city for community - and it seems on occasion - private gardens to be pilfered for their foodstuffs. That's not the issue. The issue is that people with media contacts have been making their opinions felt that the problem may be down to 'cultural or language difficulties' or 'misunderstandings'. Apparently - or so it is implied, and I don't know for sure - in some other cultures, it is just fine to dig up things that other people have planted and take them home to cook. That sounds like an interesting concept, and one that would not work very well, but I'm prepared to accept that it may be so; as I said, I'm not certain.
What I am not prepared to accept, as an immigrant myself, is the defence that there may be a 'misunderstanding' about what is allowed and what isn't.
This is a very simple issue which runs through every aspect of life in an adopted country; if I move to another country, I cannot reasonably expect to live by my home country's rules. Things in my adopted country are different - in my case not drastically so, but there are real and surprising differences, differences which I am obliged to make myself aware of, and which I am obliged to adhere to. When I come across a new rule (and even after twelve years it still occasionally happens), I don't have a legitimate right to say to myself: "Well that's not what I'm used to, so I'll ignore that one!". That would be ridiculous, would lead to chaos if it were allowed, and I would deserve to be sent packing.
Neither do I have the right to not reasonably research the laws of my adopted country and find out what the rules are - since I am being welcomed, I see it as my duty to integrate myself into the society that I have chosen and to abide by its rules, not ignore them and carry on as before. In the case that I've mentioned above, I find it hard to believe that the people taking food from these gardens don't appreciate what they're doing, or (being far more generous than I think is required), don't have a suspicion that it's not actually allowed - I mean if it was allowed, wouldn't the gardens be picked clean already?
It really pisses me off when people throw out the 'I'm new here, you must forgive me' excuse for wrongdoing. Even worse are the bleeding heart groups who advocate for such people and in the process employ an almost passive-aggressive unspoken threat of throwing down the racism gauntlet if anyone pushes the issue. to my mind (and I may be in a minority of one here), deliberately flaunting the rules of your host country is a racist act all of its own, since it requires an assumption of superior logic or moral values over the host country and its citizens in order to rationalize such behaviour. Frankly I want to say to fellow immigrants who behave this way: live by this country's rules or go and live where you prefer the existing rules, but do NOT expect to have exceptions made for you because you were either too lazy to find out what's acceptable and what isn't, or you simply think that the rules don't apply to you. You don't have that right.
People who advocate for this kind of anti-social behaviour are advocating for anarchy, and have clearly not thought through what they are trying to achieve. Proponents of anarchy will suffer from anarchy; there is no happy ending for anarchists; chaos doesn't work.
So, my fellow immigrants, wherever you may be from; stand up, step up and grow up; hiding behind a shield of ignorance is like a middle aged man standing at the poolside wearing speedos. No matter what, you look ridiculous.