An extraordinary thing happened to me.
A bit of context: In my first week in Coventry, I met a black guy in the city centre who was looking for directions, and I helped him. We chatted briefly. Then, a couple of weeks later, I saw him again, near the library. He told me he was new in town, coming from London. I told him I was Bulgarian, just came to study here. After a quick chat, we parted again. I had totally forgotten about him.
Until this week. On Wednesday, I was walking around town, trying to figure out what my People to People project could be about. And then I met him again. Waiting for the bus, going to work. He recognised me and smiled at me. I remembered who he was. We started talking. About being a foreigner in the UK (he came from Somalia when he was little), about having one God, just calling Him different names (he is a Muslim), and so on.
Then it struck me. I quickly ripped off a piece of paper and wrote down my name and phone number (good I know it by heart). And asked him if he’d be interested to talk about his life in front of a camera for a short documentary.
He said he’d call me some time in the weekend. I now realise I was a bit too direct. Focused on asking my questions before the bus comes.
And then it came and we parted.
I don’t have his number. It’s up to him. Even if he decides not to do the film, I hope he does call so we can at least meet and talk. I would like to know him. He looks like he has a good heart. I can read it in his eyes. They tell a story.
Which leaves me with the 100 word outline of what my People to People would (hopefully) be about:
Abdul comes from Somalia. He came in the UK when he was little, trying to get away from a country ‘destroyed by politics’. He has lived in London and currently lives and works in Coventry. And he misses his homeland. No matter how good your receiving country is, it is not home. It feels different. It smells different. The only thing that is the same are the people. As he says: ‘We’re all people’.
Now I’m waiting for a call.