Saturday, July 1, 2017

Small Talk About Life Fifteen Miles from Auschwitz


Riding to Auschwitz dfrom Katowice, Poland, I stopped for a drink at a gas station and met Jakub. He knew I was an American. He told me how he would love to go to America and work.

Like so many people, he sees a guy my age riding a bike he started talking about fitness. He lives at home with his mom and brother. He said his mom who is in her late 40s is always talking about getting in shape, but she drives one kilometer to work. "In case she needs her car. Which she never does."

He also told me that his girlfriend applied to get a visa to work in America and lost several thousand dollars in a scam telling people from Eastern Europe they could get visas to work in America.

He also loves cars. That is not always true of people working in gas stations. He has a little 3 Series BMW hatchback. I was telling him about the Toyota Auris I was driving in the Balkans. He likes hybrids a lot.

He visited America once. Only New York City. He would like to see more of America. I told him I live 200 miles from NYC in a place where some people still drive horses and buggies. He had never heard of the Amish. Then I told him they talk on cell phones while they drive horses. He was going to tell his friends about that. I wrote down Lancaster so he could show them on a map where the horses and buggies are.

My Dad, Estee Lauder and Dietrich Bohoeffer

In recent months I have immersed myself in my past in a way I have never done before. For a couple of months I have been writing about my l...