Catch 22 or – “A day in the life of a refugee”

In Joseph Heller’s novel, people who were crazy were not obliged to fly missions; but anyone who applied to stop flying was showing a rational concern for his safety and, therefore, was sane.

Catch 22, a type of unsolvable logic puzzle sometimes called a double bind.

We have a number of Syrian refugees in our village.

This is the story of one of them, a Kurdish girl, aged 10

The German she’s learned in her time at various reception centres before arriving here with her family  is very basic, but good enough to translate at the German lesson classes and clothing exchange that volunteers run and at the refugee coffee afternoons.

It’s good enough for her to attend school, but the local one can’t fit her in, so she catches the train every morning to a town 25km distant.

Of course, the refugee welfare people won’t pay her fare, because she’s supposed to attend the closest school.

Which can’t take her.

Catch 22

So she takes the train.

Volunteers took her down there on her first 2 days, showing her how to operate the machine and the way to the school and then back again.

Paid for everything themselves

Yesterday, the ticket machine (we don’t have a station, let alone a ticket counter) didn’t accept coins and didn’t make change for notes (which she didn’t have) and she sure doesn’t have a credit card.

So – seeing that getting to school was important – she got on the train with her money to pay the conductor.

No conductor, but a guy checking tickets to whom she tries to explain the situation, but he’s not having a bar of it.

That’ll be a €60 fine for not having a ticket.

Catch 22

Which our neighbour – one of the volunteers  – is paying for her.

These are the nuts and bolts of being a refugee in Germany

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