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Escaped To Sweden

My friend Rose-Marie called me today. She told me that she had recently listened to a Swedish radio program and that the subject interviewed was the young man, Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada who played the role of Hassan in the movie The Kite Runner that I wrote about the other day. The movie is based on a novel with the same name. That young man escaped Afghanistan about four years ago because of continuous threats from the Taliban (that could had been predicted) and he lives in Sweden now with a foster family and he is thriving. Although he loves Sweden I am sure he misses his parents and siblings, they were not able to obtain visas.
Me and my Mom "escaped" to Sweden from Poland when I was about four. I recall the journey on the boat from Gdansk to Nynäshamn, it took about 24 hours. We shared a small hot cabin with a stranger. It was noisy and hot because it was close to the engine room, is that the correct terminology? I got violently ill that night and threw up over and over again in the small sink. Sea sick. We would make that journey again a few times when we went to Poland to visit and I always thought that the boat was super exciting and would make friends with other children and run around and explore. We would eat my favorite soup barszcz in the "kawiarnia" and I would get hard pineapple flavored cukierki (candy) from the gift shop. There were two main ferries, Regina and Rogalin.
I knew zero Swedish when we arrived in Sweden and I got very bullied in first grade because I was the only foreign child in my class. That made me a target. I hated school, I was scared to be in class and kids wold chase me when I walked home. My Mom was worried and upset. Things improved when we moved and I started a new school in second grade. In the end I excelled in Swedish.
I can not imagine arriving alone as a child to a foreign country without a parent. Ahmad swam across a river somewhere in Belarus, he was hungry and probably scared. At least I was safe and and not hungry on a boat plus I had my Mom.


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Alaska loves you on :

Wow.. that's intense. What a cool little piece of who you are. I'll bet little Tatiana was the cutest little girl, and that is why all the kids were jealous. :-) miss you girl

Tatiana on :

Hugs. Miss you too.
I miss Alaska in general.

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