Bahar means spring in Turkish

For Bahar

Last week, she had been in Paris for writing a piece on Dior. Yesterday, she spent the afternoon with young German-Turkish singer Bahar Kizil in a crowded café in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Today, she is on her way to the former Benjamin-Franklin-barracks, to visit a Bürgerfest with refugees stranded in Mannheim. Her journalistic career is comparable with a star, slowly getting attached to Earth’s orbits – and maybe she’s already used to the consequences of this development. Yesterday, her unpatience – while listening to the former’s girl-band member girlie talk – caused her to finish one coffee after another; now she is left by the taxi-driver a few metres away from the barracks-entry, with no one waiting for her to say her (formerly) important name. Inside – respectively behind the railings – it’s the same. She has to ask her way, nobody asks her. Finally, she stands on the small green area.

A few people, maybe 20 have already gathered there. Germans sitting on benches, eating cake, drinking coffee. It’d look like a traditional German Volksfest exactly how it takes every Sunday somewhere in the Republik – if there weren’t men and women standing aside, their clothes showing less or more small traces of fading; some faces unable to wear smiles.

She could read these traces – if she’d concentrate and if her mind hadn’t dealt with high-fashion and fake smiles for the last 20 years. So she is left with asking some superficial questions to superficial adminstrative people and leaving after 20 minutes (I will somehow write a story to please the editor), when a small woman suddenly steps in her way.

This other woman just starts speaking. No fear, no shame – just the desire to tell her story.

A few metres away, a younger man observes the two women. How they differ in clothing, in attitude, maybe not so much in age (make-up can help you a lot here). The man already knows the immigrant’s story – Bahar, her name, is from Macedonia, with family roots in Turkey. Now she is in Mannheim with her husband and four of five children. The oldest daughter still lives in Macedonia; Bahar hardly has the chance to talk to her. Not that she wouldn’t have the time to do so, there are more urgent things to do. Like to go the Flüchtlingsbehörde and tell your story, over and over again. Why you left, why to Germany.

The journalist would easily have the chance to make a story out of Bahar’s story. And to learn about life. About her life. To give it a new turn, a spring in early autumn. But after a couple of minutes, she just leaves. With one paper of notes.

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