Is her name Ingrid?We stood among the stacks of history books, and as we were looking at the row of books, our faces came close together. I wished to stay near her as long as possible, despite feeling drops of sweat on my back and under my armpits.
“It’s a terrible tragedy what is happing in Bosnia, today,” I said.
“Are you from Bosnia?"
“Yes,” I said and noticed that her eyes sparkled.
“ I’ve seen so much terrible news from Bosnia on TV. All those innocent people killed, women raped, and prisoners who look as if they had been imprisoned at Auschwitz. It must be awful to be there.”
“It is. I myself am a victim of ethnic cleansing, and I was imprisoned at a Serbian prison camp. The guards did unspeakable things to my fellow prisoners.”
Her eyes turned dark blue, and she put her hand on my shoulder.
“I feel sorry for you. It must be terrible to leave your homeland and your people and come to cold Sweden, where people are so introverted and don’t welcome strangers with open arms.”
I told her that our cultures are different. In Bosnia people welcome strangers, invite them to their homes, and treat them with food and drink like important guests, while here in Sweden, strangers are seen as intruders who had come to abuse the welfare state.
“I wished I knew more about your homeland.” Her eyes sparkled again.
I interpreted her sentence as an invitation I could not pass up. I told her we could meet somewhere, and I would tell her about my experiences.
Student or Learner