November 7: Those little treasures

A bright sun wakes me at 8:30, I do some dishes, play some music on my little computer and continue writing about my beautiful experience. I look at the pharmacy receipts they gave me yesterday and they are so valuable for me. My little treasures. Not that I need proof of my being good (do it yourself: please insert hypens if you cannot read this but as a sign of conceit). It just show me the reality of what I’m doing, the reality I am helping to create, perhaps yes, with a humble birdy pride tickling the hairs on my neck. It feels good, ma nouvelle vie. Can I ever persuade other people to treasure a pharmacy receipt from a Palestinian refugee camp for medications of the poorest families that are forced to live there higher than a bar of gold or truffle oil?

Some would with disdain in their shivering nostrils frown upon me and say “eeh, he’s playing Jesus again” meaning he’s playing hookey from life and that is not good. Others would say “wait a minute, maybe he IS…” (just kidding, no offence). Anyway, I am having the time of my life here, and even I with my sesquipadalian pretentiousness (thanks, Maddy) can’t find words for it.

In Ibrahims room there is a continuous recitation going on, of which I don’t understand a thing. I don’t judge rite and religion, I smile mildly at them and always try to uncover the human face. When I look inside Ibrahims room there is nobody except Ibrahim. It was he was has been saying the loud prayers all morning. I almost cry. I have seen the hole in his throat.

I say goodbye and hold Ibrahim’s hand. After seeing some more of the camp it is time to leave. Ibrahim’s brother takes me to the bus station with his three decades old mercedes. We understand each other, even if we don’t share a common language. A taxi to Damascus is arranged and I dream away during that long ride. Border formalities take up some time as usual and I have to buy a new visa for Syria.
“But they told me it was double entry! So they lied to me! They are not such good muslims then…” some little idiot inside me feels inclined to say. I remember the rugged unshaved Russian man smiling at me and telling me I shouldn’t take these things too seriously. I pay for a new visa and realize that he is right. Easy does it.

In Damascus, I miss my couchsurfer but the friendly staff of the internet café brings me to an affordable hostel. I have a sandwich nearby, take a hot shower, wash my clothes, and I sleep well in the four-person dormitory.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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