Saturday, January 24, 2015

The homecoming

By Kirsten Nour Namskau

It's 7 years since I came back to Denmark with Dexter (my dog) after 20 years in Egypt.

Since I came to Denmark, I have had a very difficult time. But I came at the right time, for many reasons.
Before I traveled I had got a time for job-interview as a teacher at a school. So I made myself ready to leave Egypt, closed my business and made an agreement with a moving-company to come and collect my things after I had found a place in Denmark.
You know, I also felt like this … if I shall leave, it has to be “now”, both because of the age, my health started to give me signals of medical care and all my friends also started to move back to their respective countries. Also we did feel that it would come to a revolution. It wasn’t about if ... it was about when...
Can you imagine … when I came for the interview, they already had employed another person!!! Her I was, nothing in Egypt to come back to and nothing in Denmark. Without an address, I wouldn’t get a work … without a work, I couldn’t get an accommodation.
Lucky for me, I had a friend who believed in me and helped me enroll myself into many housing-estate that build and rent out flats. They told me that I should ask the social welfare of a loan for the deposit, and they never use to say “no” I was told.
I accepted the first and best housing and then guess what … the social welfare didn’t want to give me the loan for the deposit.
My friend paid the deposit for me in which I have paid back in small rates every month.
I contacted the moving company in Egypt to go and collect my things and send it to me. Guess what … Hesham, who was the owner of my flat in Egypt, denied the moving company to collect my things. He took everything I owned … even my clothes, books, furniture, music, everything is in Egypt. I had only what I came in when I came to Denmark. Now, I didn’t have furniture, I didn’t have clothes I didn’t have anything … NOTHING.
What annoys me the most, is the loss of books, CDs, photos, pictures
and all that small stuff that one needs, but is the last on the buying-list when one starts new.

I started in a post graduation program as a bus-driver, and got employed in a company. But I got fired from the company I worked for because it took a little more time that expected to get the bus-license.
You can imagine the panic! !
I got employed in a substitute company. That means I work by hours in different places as substitute. But it's again better than nothing, and it held me just from hand to mouth.
But I had an address, and finally I got permanent a job in a home for elderly people. But it was far from where I lived and it didn’t go any bus.
I had to look for another place to live, but no bank wanted to give me loan for a deposit since I didn't have time enough in Denmark to have built up enough customer-confidents.
At the social care system, I didn't get any loan neither. First because I earned too little, when I finally got I job, they didn't give me loan because then I earned too much.

If it had not been for a friend of mine, who took care of me the first months, I would have ended as a homeless tramp. Seriously!!!
Finally a person in an estate company helped me to get a loan and sold to me a small house with garden, close to my work. My small house is only 47 m2, but it has a big garden for Dexter to enjoy, and he really do. He has become very territorial protective.
And I had the job in the home for elderly people, and I actually liked it better that I expected, and now I started to get a regular income. (Thank God)
For one year I lived in my house without any furniture at all … without proper clothes. Thanks God, at work we used uniform and I also tried to eat while I was at work, and that was the only food I got.
The only thing I could do, was to start buying installment. First of all, I had to buy winter-clothes,  the next was to buy furniture.
Slowly I built up myself worth for credit and was able to get a loan to buy some furniture and clothes. And happily I had Dexter to keep me company. After three years I could start to feel that I lived a kind of normal life.
Then I started to take pain in my right hip, that escalated to the knee, ankle and up the back and neck. "Gees of Christ" I went bananas. My biggest fear was if I have to stop working and get more and more invalid.
I went to the doctor that didn't find anything wrong. (Do they ever?) If you don't know yourself, the doctor definitely doesn't know. The pain got worse and worse, and at the end I couldn't walk at all.
I went to chiropractor and massage without any success. Then I by luck heard in a program in TV, that a woman had had some pain that was related to some negative earth-energies. By moving her bed to another place in the room, brought the pain to disappear.
I thought: That it didn't harm to try at least. So I moved my bed to another wall in the room.
Well. . . .At the same time, I also went to the doctor and suggested that it maybe could be an inflammation in the hip that also escalated around in the body. Finally, I got some medicine for inflammation and "Thanks God"... It seemed to help, but only for a short time. I went to the doctor again and by luck, I got a rota-candidate. She found out immediately what was wrong and told me that I needed a new hip and that should have been done 2 years ago. She applied to the hospital while I was with her on Wednesday, on Friday same week I got a letter from the hospital that I could come on Monday following week. The operation went very well. It was an amazing feeling that a body can accept a foreign body- part so well, and I felt like a new person. Totally without pain.
Then, in the following winter I fell on the icy road on my way to the train to get home after work and broke my left leg.
Because of this, I suddenly had too many days of sick leave in one year and got fired. Thanks God I was in Denmark, so I at least got money from the union. In Egypt, I would have been totally lost in a case like this.
But here in Denmark it is very difficult to get a job at the time, and I don’t have my age with me neither.
At the time, I had 2 ½ year left go get pension. First then I could relax.
But at least … I have my little house and an income I can live on. For two years I was depending on the union.
 But I began to feel good and more relaxed mentally too.
I even got myself a brand new car, a Nissan Pixo, little but makes the life very comfortable.

Now I at last have retired, but I’m still not “out of the wood”, because I suppose to get retirement fee from Norway, but there the retirement age is 67 and here in Denmark it is 65. So I get only a very small fee from Denmark, but I try to keep low cost so I can keep it up for 1 year more. I will get my retirement fee from Norway in February 2016
 I try to be self suffusion as much as possible, so I have my small kitchen garden with fruit, berries and vegetables and spices and I have a gren-house for delicate vegetables. If I can afford it, I will set up a space for some chicken next year, so I keep myself with healthy eggs and meat. (They stuff the animals with so much poison on this side of the globe, so it creates more deceases than what is good for human being.)
I also go to the forest and collected mushrooms and berries.
Ha, ha... It helps on the budget.
What I enjoy the most is the seasons, the rain, the nature, that I can take Dexter for a walk in the forest and he can run free. He has also got a lot of dog-friends we meet at our walks.
I have a lot of wild animals running in the forest around the house, especial deer. Birds of all kinds come to the food-tray. I have seen even eagles, mouse-hawk (musvaak), wild pearl-hens (fasan) and others.
Yesterday the air was filled with tiny flakes of snow and it was ice on the ponds that broke when Dexter stepped on them.
The grass was stiff, covered with ice and broke, leaving footsteps as I walked through the field. The cold air was biting the cheeks and the children had "red buns" in their cheeks. And I enjoyed it all.
Thank God I at least have a good health, expect for two years ago I had to have a new hip on right side. But I recovered very well, so it is as if nothing never happened.

Well, this is only a fast, little notice from Denmark. I also have a computer now, so it easier to be online. . .  I only have to take one step at the time. . . That is the only way to come forward, I have heard. I only have to be sure the steps goes forwards and not backwards.
Geese, what a time! ! ! But it seems to come together now..

More so, I have finally come in closer contact with my children.


Lexcen said...

Hello Kirsten.
Good of you to remember and find an old friend.

curmudgeon said...

Wow! It's been a long time!