.Would you please take a look at the ninth part of my short story and correct my mistakes?
Back in the camp, the stench hit me like a heavy blow. How different was our world behind the fence
tofrom the one outside. Germany was appealing and prosperous, but only forto those who had already established themselves or were going places. The refugees were at the bottom of the social ladder. One rung above them stood the alcoholics and homeless I saw in the park, holding onto their cans of beer and bottles (of wine) like a lifeline. They seemed to be living in another world, just as we did. Society seemed to be indifferent to them, but they reacted by ignoring society, its values, norms and conventions. They were the only people who spontaneously greeted me whenever they saw me, (by) raising their cans and bottles and shouting, “Cheers man!” Unlike them, ordinary citizens seemed not to notice me at all. Their minds must have been preoccupied with the mortgages and loans which must be paid back, their careers, love problems, existential fears, sleep disorders, depressions, and other worries which attacked human beings from the moment they woke up in the morning. They had scarcely time for themselves, let alone for an anonymous refugee. As they rushed passedpast (on) both sides of me, I asked myself if I was going to become one of them—a tiny cog with a nice car in athe garage and a home stuffed with gadgets, which would never make me happy.
We had used up all our coal, and I took a scuttle and went down to the cellar to fetch more. My old acquaintance, the old peevish German from Romania stood beside a mound of black lumps, surveying the refugees who filled their scuttles with coal. When my turn came he croaked, “The young man is freezing. Germany is a cold country. Cold weather and cold people...” Anger was rising inside me, and I imagined shoving his head into the black mass, and hearing him pleading with me not to harm him. As soon as I came back in the room, a wave of melancholy swept over me. I lay down in my bunk and for the first time since I came in Germany, doubts arose in my mind. How was I going to live in these conditions for months, maybe years? Everything sickened me: the stench that followed me everywhere creeping through my clothes, and crawling into my nostrils, the canteen with its white walls and plastic furniture and cutlery, the toothpaste flecks on bathroom mirrors, the dirty toilets, the crying babies, their nervous parents and the irascible personnel. How could I have left my leafy orchard and lavish garden and ended up in this dirty hole? How could I have willingly run from paradise and thrown myself into hell? And now, as a punishment, instead of the chirping and twittering of birds, I had to listen to the croaking of the old petulant man.
“Mate, you don't feel well? What's wrong?” Miroslav asked when he came in. I described for him what I felt, and he said, “Don't rush. Now
whenthat you've come to this great country, you are free to do what you want. Be patient. Do you think I don't have feelings? I'm longing for my parents and home, just as you do, but I know I have to be strong. Didn't you have enough of communist propaganda and brainwashing?”
His words reminded me of how I had been feeling before I ran way. I could not listen to the news or read a newspaper without growing angry. I was sick with agitprop, which indoctrinated citizens about the greatness of our country and its leader, who was still ruling the country beyond his grave. How could I have forgotten my yearning to live in a free world and talk with people without thinking if some of them were informers? How could I think of returning to the country where I was certainly going to suffer as before? The more I
was ponderingpondered those questions, the more I was aware of the split within myself.
TO BE CONTINUED
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