I’ve always assumed that scores of migrants attempting to reach Europe know exactly what they are getting into before embarking on their arduous journey. There are no shortcuts. You have to make it through the dessert, past Jihadist groups scattered all over North Africa and finally the rough waters of the Mediterranean. It’s all over the news, almost daily and since we have hundreds trying to get to Europe every so often, you would think that potential migrants are well aware of the challenges. That is why I found it funny recently when I read about disgruntled asylum seekers voicing their dissatisfaction with the treatment they are getting in Europe. One refugee from Syria blatantly asked, “Is this Europe? If this is it, then I’m going back to Syria.” Another man who also appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin complained that, “There were no toilets, beds or food for the migrants.” As much as I sympathise with these people, many of whom are escaping civil strife and various other forms of persecution, I couldn’t help shaking my head in disbelief. What do these migrants expect? Mansions and 5-Star hotels at the shores of Italy, Greece and Spain waiting to be occupied? Either they’re extremely naive or were duped by smugglers and other unscrupulous individuals into believing everything would be easy once they reached Europe. If you want a comfortable bed and not the tattered overcrowded tent offered until your papers are processed, go back home. I know that sounds harsh but some of these people come from relatively stable nations. There seems to be this blind pursuit of the European dream that lures even those from well-to-do backgrounds. I read about a heavily pregnant woman who delivered on one of the boats and wondered what she was thinking. I’ve also seen some very young children who clearly need a safe, warm place, not the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean. Looks can be deceiving but many of these people don’t even ‘look’ poor. Several are well dressed and let’s not forget that they pay thousands of dollars to get on the boats. If even 100 of them pooled their money together, they would be surprised by how much that would amount to. Some reports suggest they pay upwards of $3,000. That’s enough money to start several businesses or income generating projects that would provide employment for all those running off to Europe. Why sell off your plot of land, cows and other property when there’s absolutely no guarantee you’ll get a job away from home? It must be the lucky few who somehow make it who get the others thinking they will have the same good fortune. Well, the reality is that it is not easy. It might take one a good five years before they make it out of the temporary shelters and get the relevant papers to secure a meaningful job. For many others, deportation is almost certain. Why would anyone waste their time and money for that? I know I wouldn’t.