A short Story

I grew up with my three sisters in a household without a television or a computer. Nevertheless I had a happy childhood and didn’t lack anything, at least not in my first six years until my school enrolment. Circumstances were such that my family lived at that time in Assuan in Egypt where my father led a development project. Plain and simply there was no television but instead a huge

garden with palms directly at the riverbank of the Nile, where we were allowed to do whatever we chose to without any obligations.

We also had the books by Michael Ende, which our mother read to us; when I look back at this period of my life I realize how much my memories of the fantasy worlds of “Momo”, “Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver” and “The Neverending Story” mixed with my memories of the desert sands. I lived in these stories and my friends were stray cats and feral goats who fed off plastic bags and shards at the river bank.

As a child I wanted to become an engine driver or pilot. That was probably the reason why I was able to read my father’s pocket watch when I was only 4 years old: for my father had claimed that you could become an engine driver only if you were able to read the clock, otherwise the trains would come late and that would be the end of the career. (Today I am not so sure he was right about that.)

The return to Germany was in 1995 and a true reality shock. My father finished his work in Egypt just on time for my school enrolment. In the old homeland of my parents