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    #1

    Train transports, part one

    Please would you correct my mistakes in the first part of my short story, "Train transports."

    When I arrived in Sweden in 1993 as a refugee fleeing from the war in Bosnia, I passed through a few refugee camps. After a long and tiring journey through Europe we arrived to a port in the south of Sweden, where the immigration authorities registered us, gave us some food and medical help for those who needed it before sending us to another camp. Every few weeks they sent us to another place, more and more to the north. When we arrived it was still summer and days were long and sunny, and the beautiful Swedish girls walked around in the skimpiest clothes I had ever seen in my life. But the summer was short, and soon the autumn brought its yellow and brown colours and also low temperatures.

    One day I arrived on a train with a group of my fellow compatriots in a little town where the Swedish immigration Board had established a refugee camp. It was an ordinary housing estate built in the 1960, when the town started to prosper, but unfortunately, 30 years later, the unemployment became rampant and the people moved to the south. The blocks of flats stood empty and abandoned until someone hit upon the idea to accommodate hundreds of refugees from all over the world fleeing from all kinds of evil, misery, conflicts and similar problems. We Bosnians had been promised a residence permit by the Swedish government in advance, but there were many refugees from other countries whose applications had already been rejected, and they lived in limbo, not knowing what was going to happen to them the next day. Some of them had been in Sweden for years, and they saw their rejection as an ultimate insult. They were both desperate and angry. In one moment they were hopeful and believed in a miracle, and in the next, they cursed the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and the selfish, stingy Swedes.

    I shared a two-room flat with three other Bosnians. My roommate was a middle-aged, overweight truck driver. His wife and daughter remained in Bosnia, and they could not leave their town, which was under the control of the Serbs. He would wake up every morning around six, sit down at the table close to the window, light a cigarette and switch on a cassette recorder, which blasted terrible Bosnian folk music, which made my hair stand on end. I begged him time and again to switch it off or at least turn the sound down, which he eventually did for a few minutes, but then the torture started again. I ate my breakfast sitting opposite him and I felt as if with every mouthful I was not only eating food, but also his music, which poisoned my stomach. He wore a white undershirt all the time, which he never washed, and which smelled of his sweat and cigarettes. Thick body hair curled under it and covered his strong shoulder muscles and arms. With his large square-jawed head without hair and with his strong neck, he looked more like a bull than a human being, and I wondered if I would be strong enough to strangle him. After I had been released from a prison camp, I had noticed that I had become oversensitive to many different things, noise among them. Where before I could have sat surrounded with dozens of noisy children and never felt disturbed, nowadays a scream of a little baby was like drilling a hole in my head.
    In the night, I lay awake and listened to the hoarse snoring of my roommate. I imagined my hands gripping firmly his neck and my thumbs pressing his larynx towards his cervical vertebrae until he choked and his wild eyes opened only to see me laughing at him and pressing ever harder until the last atom of life left his fat body.

    I asked the other two flatmates if they were disturbed by the loud music, but they both were yokels who had grown up with such songs and they told me it reminded them of their villages in Bosnia, and they enjoyed it. I had no other choice but to ask the camp manager to help me to change a flat. A red-haired woman in her fifties welcomed me warmly in her office, which was just another two-room flat equipped with office furniture. I explained to her my problem, and she turned to her computer, typed in my number and soon told me I could move to another flat in the building opposite her office. Then we talked about the war in Bosnia and she said how sorry she was when the war started. She visited that part of the Balkans many times before the war broke out, and she had many beautiful memories from her holidays on the Adriatic Sea. She asked me what I was doing during the day and I answered I read books in Swedish, talked to the natives if they were willing to talk to me, and walked around the town. “Pity I have no my camera with me, I could take some beautiful pictures,” I said. “Do you want a camera,” she said. “We have here complete equipment. Nobody use it. You can borrow it.” She went to adjacent room, returned with a camera bag and put it down on the table in front of me. I opened it and saw a Canon with two zoom lenses, a large telephoto lens, a flash and a couple of filters and film rolls. I was speechless and gasped with surprise. “Do you have a tripod, too?” I asked. “Of course”, she said and went back to the room and brought it and put it in front of me.
    The same day I moved to my new room, which I was going to share in the coming months with a man who lived in a town close to my own and behaved like a civilized human being. We had many common interests and became great friends.
    To be continued

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    #2

    Re: Train transports, part one

    Please would you correct my mistakes in the first part of my short story, "Train transports."

    When I arrived in Sweden in 1993 as a refugee fleeing from the war in Bosnia, I passed through a few refugee camps. After a long and tiring journey through Europe we arrived at a port in the south of Sweden, where the immigration authorities registered us, gave us some food and medical help for those who needed it before sending us to another camp. Every few weeks they sent us to another place, more and more to the north. When we arrived, it was still summer and days were long and sunny, and the beautiful Swedish girls walked around in the skimpiest clothes I had ever seen in my life. But the summer was short, and soon the autumn brought its yellow and brown colours and low temperatures.

    One day, I arrived on a train with a group of my fellow compatriots in a little town where the Swedish immigration Board had established a refugee camp. It was an ordinary housing estate built in the 1960s when the town started to prosper. But unfortunately, 30 years later, the unemployment became rampant and the people moved to the south. The blocks of flats stood empty and abandoned until someone hit upon the idea to accommodate hundreds of refugees from all over the world fleeing from all kinds of evil, misery, conflicts and similar problems. We, Bosnians, had been promised a residence permit by the Swedish government in advance. There were many refugees from other countries whose applications had already been rejected and they lived in limbo, not knowing what was going to happen to them the next day. Some of them had been in Sweden for years, and they saw their rejection as an ultimate insult. They were both desperate and angry. In one moment they were hopeful and believed in a miracle, and in the next, they cursed the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and the selfish, stingy Swedes.

    I shared a two-room flat with three other Bosnians. My roommate was a middle-aged, overweight truck driver. His wife and daughter remained in Bosnia, and they could not leave their town, which was under the control of the Serbs. He would wake up every morning around six, sit down at the table close to the window, light a cigarette and switch on a cassette recorder, which blasted terrible Bosnian folk music, which made my hair stand on end. I begged him time and again to switch it off or at least turn the sound down, which he eventually did for a few minutes, but then the torture started again. I ate my breakfast sitting opposite him and I felt as if with every mouthful I was not only eating food, but also his music, which poisoned my stomach. He wore a white undershirt all the time, which he never washed, and which smelled of his sweat and cigarettes. Thick body hair curled under it and covered his strong shoulder muscles and arms. With his large square-jawed head without hair and with his strong neck, he looked more like a bull than a human being, and I wondered if I would be strong enough to strangle him. After I had been released from a prison camp, I had noticed that I had become oversensitive to many different things, noise among them. Where before I could have sat surrounded with dozens of noisy children and never felt disturbed, nowadays a scream of a little baby was like drilling a hole in my head.

    In the night, I lay awake and listened to the hoarse snoring of my roommate. I imagined my hands gripping his neck firmly and my thumbs pressing his larynx towards his cervical vertebrae until he choked and his wild eyes opened only to see me laughing at him and pressing ever harder until the last atom of life left his fat body.

    I asked the other two flatmates if they were disturbed by the loud music, but they both were yokels who had grown up with such songs and they told me it reminded them of their villages in Bosnia, and they enjoyed it. I had no other choice but to ask the camp manager to help me to change a flat. A red-haired woman in her fifties welcomed me warmly in her office, which was just another two-room flat equipped with office furniture. I explained to her my problem, and she turned to her computer, typed in my number and soon told me I could move to another flat in the building opposite her office. Then we talked about the war in Bosnia and she said how sorry she was when the war started. She visited that part of the Balkans many times before the war broke out, and she had many beautiful memories from her holidays on the Adriatic Sea. She asked me what I was doing during the day and I answered I read books in Swedish, talked to the natives if they were willing to talk to me, and walked around the town.

    “Pity I had no my camera with me, I could have taken some beautiful pictures,” I said.

    “Do you want a camera?” she said. “We have here the complete equipment. Nobody uses it. You can borrow it.”

    She went to adjacent room, returned with a camera bag and put it down on the table in front of me. I opened it and saw a Canon with two zoom lenses, a large telephoto lens, a flash and a couple of filters and film rolls. I was speechless and gasped with surprise.

    “Do you have a tripod, too?” I asked.

    “Of course,” she said and went back to the room and brought it and put it in front of me.

    The same day I moved to my new room, which I was going to share in the coming months with a man who lived in a town close to my own and behaved like a civilized human being. We had many common interests and became great friends.
    To be continued...

    Note!
    1. When people are having a dialogue, it is best to separate what they say instead of cramming it into a single, large paragraph.

    Nicely written.

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    #3

    Re: Train transports, part one

    "The last atom of life"sounds a bit strange.

    Not a teacher

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    #4

    Re: Train transports, part one

    Re: "...his wild eyes opened only to see me laughing at him and pressing ever harder until the last atom of life left his fat body."

    How about the commonly used 'breathed his/her/it's last breath'?

    Actually, "the last atom of life that left his fat body" is strange.

    "...and pressing ever harder until his fat body breathed it's last breath."

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    #5

    Re: Train transports, part one

    Thank you so much, both tedmc and +Technist Warp- for correcting my mistakes.
    Sometimes I use phrases which are not correct English like ,"the last atom of life" probably because my mind automatically uses the phrases from my own language, which do not sound correct in English.
    "pressing ever harder until his fat body breathed its last breath" is exactly the phrase which I should have used.

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    #6

    Re: Train transports, part one

    How about:
    I imagined my hands gripping his neck
    firmly and my thumbs pressing his larynx towards his cervical vertebrae until he choked and his wild eyes opened only to see me laughing at him and pressing ever harder until the last iota of life left his fat body.

    It is a very graphic description I must say.

    not a teacher

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Train transports, part one

    it's good to "see" you again. Lately I have been reading the entire post before reading it for the purpose of making corrections/suggestions. (It's not been a good week. There were three days that I didn't make it out of the apartment.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post

    When I arrived in Sweden in 1993 as a refugee fleeing from the war in Bosnia, I passed through a few refugee camps. After a long and tiring journey through Europe we arrived at a port in the south of Sweden, where the immigration authorities registered us, gave us some food (and medical help for those who needed it) before sending us to another camp. Every few weeks they sent us to another place, farther and farther north. When we arrived, it was still summer and the days were long and sunny, and the beautiful Swedish girls walked around in the skimpiest clothes I had ever seen in my life. But the summer was short, and soon the autumn brought its yellow and brown colours and also low temperatures.
    Technically, when "you" arrived in Sweden you were still in Europe. Perhaps: "a long and tiring journey, passing through a half a dozen countries on the way there."

    1. As for the Swedish girls, I doubt that you were really looking at their clothes.
    2. A (short) joke. Two long-time residents of Wyoming are talking to each other. One says to the other: "I hope summer comes on a weekend so I can go fishing."

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    One day I arrived on a train with a group of my fellow compatriots in a little town where the Swedish immigration Board had established a refugee camp. It was an ordinary housing estate built in the 1960s, when the town started to prosper, but unfortunately, 30 years later, the unemployment became rampant and the people moved to the south. The blocks of flats stood empty and abandoned until someone hit upon the idea of accommodating the hundreds of refugees from all over the world fleeing from various conflicts around the world and the hardships that accompany them. We Bosnians had been promised a residence permit by the Swedish government in advance, but there were many refugees from other countries whose applications had already been rejected, and they lived in limbo, not knowing what was going to happen to them the next day. Some of them had been in Sweden for years, and they saw their rejection as an ultimate insult. They were both desperate and angry. In one moment they were hopeful and expected in a miracle, and in the next, they cursed the Royal Family, the Prime Minister and the selfish, stingy Swedes.
    You know, I was a little reluctant to suggest changes at first until I realized that you don't have to agree with them.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Train transports, part one

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I shared a two-room flat with three other Bosnians. My roommate was a middle-aged, overweight truck driver. His wife and daughter remained in Bosnia, and they could not leave their town, which was under the control of the Serbs. He would wake up every morning around six, sit down at the table close to the window, light a cigarette and switch on a cassette recorder, which blasted terrible Bosnian folk music, which made my hair stand on end. I begged him time and again to switch it off or at least turn the sound down, which he eventually did for a few minutes, but then the torture would start again. I ate my breakfast sitting opposite him and I felt as if with every mouthful I was not only eating food, but also his music, which poisoned my stomach. He wore a white undershirt all the time, which he never washed, and which smelled of his sweat and cigarettes. Thick body hair curled under it and covered his strong shoulder muscles and arms. With his large square-jawed head without hair and with his strong neck, he looked more like a bull than a human being, and I wondered if I would be strong enough to strangle him. After I had been released from a prison camp, I had noticed that I had become oversensitive to many different things, noise among them. Where before I could have sat surrounded with dozens of noisy children and never felt disturbed, nowadays when I would hear a baby cry it felt like somebody was drilling a hole in my head with as pneumatic drill.

    At night when I was supposed to be sleeping I would instead of sleeping lie awake and listen to the hoarse snoring of my roommate. I imagined my hands gripping his neck firmly and my thumbs pressing his larynx towards his cervical vertebrae until he gasped and his wild eyes opened only to see me laughing evilly and pressing ever harder until he breathed his last.

    I asked the other two flatmates if they were disturbed by the loud music, but they both were yokels who had grown up with such songs and they told me it reminded them of their villages in Bosnia, and they enjoyed it. I had no other choice but to ask the camp manager to help me to change to a different flat. A red-haired woman in her fifties welcomed me warmly into her office, which was just another two-room flat equipped with office furniture. I explained to her my problem, and she turned to her computer, typed in my number and soon told me I could move to another flat in the building opposite her office. Then we talked about the war in Bosnia and she said how sad she was when the war started. She had visited that part of the Balkans many times before the war broke out, and she had many beautiful memories from her holidays on the Adriatic Sea. She asked me what I was doing during the day and I answered I that read books in Swedish, talked to the natives if they were willing to talk to me, and walked around the town. “Pity I have no my camera with me, I could take some beautiful pictures,” I said. “Do you want a camera?” she asked me. “We have here complete equipment. Nobody uses it. You can borrow it.” She went to adjacent room, returned with a camera bag and put it down on the table in front of me. I opened it and saw a Canon with two zoom lenses, a large telephoto lens, a flash and a couple of filters and film rolls. I was speechless and gasped with surprise. “Do you have a tripod, too?” I asked. “Of course”, she said and went back to the room and brought it and put it in front of me.

    The same day I moved to my new room, which I was going to share in the coming months with a man who had lived in a town close to my own and behaved like a civilized human being. We had many common interests and became great friends.
    More soon?

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    #9

    Re: Train transports, part one

    Tarheel,
    Thank you so much. You already know, but I am going to repeat that your help is indispensable. I am really sorry to hear that you did not feel well and that you did not leave your apartment in the last three days. I can imagine how you feel, but you have to force yourself to go outside and see other surroundings apart from your apartment. If you are inside all the time your mind is likely to think the similar kinds of thoughts, and you probably think a lot about the past. At least when you are outside, your eyes see that life goes on and you are part of that life and the world.
    Regarding the story, I am going to post the next part tomorrow.

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    #10

    Re: Train transports, part one

    1. No, not the last three days, but three days this week. Pay attention!
    2. I am looking forward to you adding to Strawberries. That one ended too soon.
    3. I believe you are getting better and better and it. Nowadays you make mistakes just to give me something to do.


    (I love the part about the snoring man. I wanted to kill him myself. )

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