Once I met a couple from Eritrea in Crête

I was standing in Heraklion after visiting the city for two days. We were waiting for the bus in the station and a lovely guy offered me to sit on the seat he had, I declined the offer saying I was about to sit for hours on a bus but thank you. And we started to chat.  A young guy in his 20's backpack and Vans shoes asked me if I was on Facebook and both of us as artists we could connect.  Him and his girlfriend were travelling the islands.  As the conversation developed it turned out that they had both just spent a month in jail.

They had made a mistake when they first arrived in Europe from Eritrea and had not applied for the correct papers for seeking asylum and were without any status or any home. They were released from jail because he had a connection to a lawyer who had helped them out.  They were now moving from island to island trying to figure out what move to make next. 

What had really struck me up to that point in the trip was how many young Europeans were roaming around by choice with backpacks and taking it day by day.  For example, one night I saw a young blonde guy sitting in one of those convenience stores you get at a petrol station, he was leaning against the wall and was asleep.  A traveller. No doubt. I began to wonder what it must feel like to pack a bag and move around the continent always knowing that when the money ran out I could go home and then what it must feel like to have all of my belongings in the world in a bag on my back and knowing that I had to keep moving and that there was no possibility of ever going home.  I thought about Facebook for a while. 


Popular Posts