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      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
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      • Bosnia Herzegovina
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    The Train Compartment - Part Two

    Please could you proofread the second part of my short story:

    Indirectly they told me, “You bloody immigrant, who do you think you are? Didn’t you learn how to behave in our country?”
    It was the most embarrassing moment in my life, much worse than that fateful day when my neighbour caught me in his own bedroom together with his life and forced me at gun point to go down on my knees and beg for my life.

    I was blushing all over and sweat was rolling down my back making me feel uncomfortable and dirty. I was aware that my immigrant sweat had another smell which was very different from the natives and I also noticed that a left nostril of the middle aged man sitting beside me was clearly registering that distinctive smell which must have been strange for his sensitive senses.

    I could almost read his thoughts and his disapproval of my presence in this place. It is because of me that his mother had to wait for nine hours in Casualty before receiving help; it is because of me that there was a shortage of flats and parking places in the centre; it was because of me that his daughter was afraid of returning home late in night.

    Next fifty minutes I was tormenting myself and cursing the leaders of the nationalistic parties who started the war in my homeland and forced me to flee and found refuge in this cold country. If I would travel now in my homeland I would be drinking beer, brandy or wine and eating cheese and sausages together with other workers who would not stay silent for a single second and instead would tell jokes and stories which would cause explosions of laughter.

    Here I was doomed to sit with these men and women who seemed not to be made of flesh and blood. They lacked only a slot to put the coin into and they could work perfectly well for hours without uttering a single word. Maybe that was one of the reasons that they could make such effective weapons, cars and other steel products, but lacked great painters, writers and composers.

    If I had with me anything to read, or write on, my embarrassment would have been easier to bear, but unfortunately on that day my hands were empty and my only deliverance were the windows through which I could look at the passing landscape.

    At the beginning it was endless meadows and fields and then grey, dull high rise, after high rise, where my fellow brothers and sisters immigrants were spending their months and years hoping to finally get a job, before the old age made them unfit for anything. Whenever I passed through those suburbs I became anxious and I would hurry to leave them as soon as possible, afraid that I would get lost and never find the way out of it.
    Since then I had become more cautious and behaved like others, pretending to had something important to write in my notebook, reading paper or a book, listing to the repetitive sound of the wheels under me, and occasionally giving furtive glances at the fellow passengers. They seemed to be living in another reality from which I was always excluded.

    Could it be that their organs like eyes, ears and brains were different from my own and they saw, heard and perceived the world in a particular, advanced way, which was beyond my primitive immigrant understanding? However, as I never had a chance to exchange thoughts with them, I could only speculate without ever establishing the truth.

    To be continued.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,984

    Re: The Train Compartment - Part Two

    Dear Gil.

    Thank you again for your time and your help.

    Now I can see where I am making mistakes, especially the use of the articles "a" and "the" which still cause me problem.

    All the best.

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