Thursday, 20 September 2018

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

collecting stories at airports


there was a security scare at frankfurt airport and i was stuck for a while, majority of my time was spent eating soft pretzels (at one point i bought five thinking i will ration them but i ate them one after another and have no regrets, tbh my only regret is not eating more). between eating, i spoke to others i encountered, here are a few of many people:

julien
48 hours earlier, julien had been drinking a beer while steering a boat on a lake in kraków. he was then arrested by the 'boat police' and thrown in jail where he stayed for 24 hours, before being released and given a fine he doesn't intend on paying. he didn't speak any polish, and he didn't call the french ambassador when he was arrested because he didn't want to worry his parents. he says he was stripped fully, and then searched beyond that. he shared a cell with a chainsmoker and didn't eat the one meal he was served. he tells the story with humour and adds 'you know this story is way better in french, it's a shame you are hearing it in english because my english is... comment on dit, merde!'

ismael
ismael came to frankfurt 30 years ago, he is half turkish and half kurdish. he has two daughters with his first wife, who unfortunately passed away. he has another baby daughter now with his current wife. he spends all his spare time with his daughters and grandkids. 'they are schön,' he says, and shows me photos on his phone. 'sehr schön,' i respond. he tells me his mama passed away when she was 60 but his father is 104 and still kicking. i don't believe him and he shows me a photo, and yes, his father is literally kicking the air in one image dated last month. he kisses my hand goodbye and wishes me the best for this life.

maryam
she reminded me of a teacher i had when i was 11. she is visiting one of her daughters in frankfurt, her other children are based in england, canada, and the usa. she is en route to visit her sister in sweden. her husband and her mother both passed away in the last couple of years, and she says it's been difficult to move on. she has never migrated like the rest of her family because her husband and her always loved life in tehran. he was a professor in mathematics. her eyes light up when she mentions his past students still visit her, and view her as a second mother. she tells me things that i have been thinking about with my own family in the last couple of days—as if she was a godsend.