Shahram and Ingrid Petersen.
Shahram was a new student of medical faculty in University of Kiel, Germany. The summer holiday has been started and he does not have anything to do, so as he was very short with the money; he decided to work in a place in the summer. University gave him an address in Westerland Campen to work in hotel and as cook helper.
Now Shahram is continuing his story. I went to the rail road station and bought a thicket to go to Campen Westerland. It is an island in the north of Germany and had the beach to North See. Early in the morning I said to my landlord that I am going to Westerland to work and she said I do not need to pay the full rent. The room has no rest room and the rest room was a portable rest room in the yard. It was a very ugly old house that nobody would live there. No German student or European student would rent this room for 75 DM per month. The old woman who was living there was about 80 years old and could not hear. She said she is paying 50 DM rent for that ugly apartment which was very old and smell very bad. But because she had some furniture there she would like to get 75 DM per month and a normal room close to university was between 120 to 150 Marks.
It was a terrible apartment which was very old and builds for very poor people. The old woman told me that she has a pension of 200 Mark every month and my 75 dollars rent helps her a lot; she can eat more and buy more. I was in Tehran a good middle class, but here I was in very poor condition and live with the very poor woman, even to buy butter was for her strange and told me you put so much butter on your bread, I wish I could put one fourth of this butter on my bread, so I gave the butter to her to use. She was happy to use my butter. But even in that condition that no German student would rent that room; she was so proud and told me she wish to rent the room to a German and could help a German student. I told her that the German students have nice room close to city and university and they do not like to live here in village and in such a horrible place.
One day I asked one of my German friend come to my room and help me with the German works, he did not even wanted to come to the house as the house smell so bad and was so old. I had not much choice, because the German will first rent the room to the German students and or European students, they do not like to rent the room to foreign especially from Middle East. I would like to pay DM120 or even DM150 for a room close to university, but the people do not rent so easily to foreigners. Even the old woman prefers a German student and thought in this way she can help the German students. I have to pay also every day about DM2 for the journey to the university as the house was about 1, 5 hour far from university.
For this reason I was happy to go somewhere and be free from that ugly seemly house and room. But she liked that I pay her daily so she could have every day DM2.50 to buy food she liked. So as I said I will go for work, she told me that I do not need to pay the whole rent. If I pay DM25 per month; that is Ok with her and she will keep the room for me empty and than she said if a German student wants the room; I will rent to her or him.
I said you do not need to reserve the room for me I pay you DM25, but next month you can rent it. I knew that she cannot rent the room, but I was also very sure that I cannot rent another room in better condition. So I took my suit case and went to the real station to catch a train to go to Campen Westerland. I was sitting in my compartment that in the next station a young girl may be 17 was trying to come with her big suit case in my compartment. The girl was a tiny girl and the suit case was big and heavy. I stand up and asked her if I can help her. She was very happy and said, Yes, Oh Yes, please do it for me; it is very heavy for me. I took the suit case and put with her help in the suit case place and she sat down. She was a very beautiful girl with white blond shinny hair, green eyes and very soft whit skin. Her face and her eyebrow were very fair. She wore a coat and skirt in dark red and had also red shoes. A little beautiful girl in red like the little red hat girl with the wolf, which is also a German story from Brothers Grimm.
She sat in front of me and she was a very friendly girl without any fear or conservative action. She was nice and friendly without any prejudice. After a while she said my name is Ingrid Petersen and give her hand to me for hand shaking. I took her warm little like snow white hand in my hand and keep for a while until she tried to move it back to her. I keep the hand in my hand as long as she let. It was almost one year that I was away from my mother and beloved sister.
My father died few years before I finish the high school and so I had to let my mother and sister alone in a big house in Tehran and come alone to Germany for study. My father and mother was both teacher in high school. My father died as he had cancer with 47. After one year staying in bed. Now my mother with my only sister was living in a house with 6 bedrooms. In Tehran both my father and mother afraid from thieves. One day a thief came to our house and my father who was a young man, may be 32 afraid so much that he could not speak. Some times I speak to myself; may that was not right to let my mother and sister alone and to come so far away for study. But even my mother wanted me to study a better subject as literature what they both had studied.
We had a comfortable life, as my mother and father both were employees of government and were paid good salaries for Iranian condition. I remember that my mother bought the whole two donkeys full of water melon and one day I see that a lot of donkeys are coming in our house. Our house had four rooms in one side which was two rooms in each side of corridor and it comes to the garden and in the other side was a two stores building, the first two in the first floor, one was the kitchen and the other one a room and upstairs there was another two rooms, one of them was for guests and the other one was another bedrooms. The whole house had also 6 bedrooms and one guest room and one kitchen. As my mother was alone she rented sometimes the room to a family. So you can imagine that in each bedroom was the whole family of 4 or 5 people. As my mother afraid to live in the big house alone. In the middle of the house was the garden with a big round pool.
In each side we had basement with a big place for storing water. At that time there was no piping system in Iran and the people should have basement with water store. It was about 10 stairs that we go down in the basement. There was no refrigerator and so the donkeys went the stairs down and the first two have water melons and the two others had unions and the last one had cucumbers. The basement was so big that all 5 donkeys unloaded their vegetation and came back home; my mother paid the man and he was free for the whole day. As he sold all his materials and vegetation just one time. So he could go home early. Now as I see my wife buys one union in a plastic bag and one cucumber and one fourth of water melon, I remember those days which are for me like yesterday that how everything changed.
One day my uncle came with a radio; he came with a carriage and had the radio in his hand. It was a Royal radio; it was like a box or a suite cage. It has four big batteries. But in the morning we could listen to music. And in the night every body gathered in the garden to listen to news. My grandfather was a little bit upset as the children were not gathering around him to listen to his stories. But now the grand father died, the uncle went to North of Iran to work. And my father died. The families who were living in our house have gone also. That bothered me, as I know my mother afraid from thieves in the big house. I remember my mother put mat razes in each room and some pillow in the milled of mat raze and put another blanket on the top as if somebody is sleeping there. And the thieves will considered that the house is full of people.
Now I am sitting in front of a girl who remembered me my whole family. Ingrid asked me if I have brother and sister and where I come from. I said I come from Tehran and I have only one sister who is four years younger than me.
Ingrid had long nice legs and very beautiful hands. I told her that I did not see my family for one year. I miss them a lot as here I have nobody. I continued to tell that I am living in Kiel and I am a medical student, but I have a lot of difficulties as my room is very far and I waste every day three hours in the road and vehicles. I have to walk also a lot, because the bus station is not near the house. Ingrid said that she is going to high school and she is in eleventh grade. In two years she will go to University City may be to Kiel to study. Soon we reached Flensburg and we both came down. I help her with the big suite case and mine in my other hand and she took small loads like the little basket and bags. She should take a bus to go to her house and I went to a Yogend herberger something like YMC A here in USA. A cheap pension that 6 persons live in the same room. She gave her address to me and I gave my address to her also. She said she will write to me. Next day she visited me and we spoke with each other a while and walk around the city. This time she wears a yellow nice dress and with yellow shoes.
My language was not so good and even the different cultures block us to speak a lot. But we went with the buses to some places and have a nice day. As in Iran I walked with her with a little distance and not too close to her, may be she was also astonished why I take a distance with her. I came from a religious family and sex was a bad thing. Always my mother said you should not even think about sex in the time that you are with a girl. If the most beautiful girl with the best dress and ornaments is with you in the same room and she had the best perfume smell and she is also nice and intelligent; you should not think about sex about her. Just as if she is your own sister. So I had the same feeling for Ingrid; I started to love her as my German sister and white blond beautiful sister. I do not know if she understood or not, but I tried to explain to her.
Next day I went to Westerland Campen to work in the hotel. My room over there was under the stairs and we should not speak with the hotel guests. The room had no bad smell, but it was very small. You can imagine under the stair, how big the room can be. You could sleep there and it was a little bigger than a bed. I got every day a letter from Ingrid. She wrote very good German and I enjoyed to read her letters. With the time she signed the letter with Your German sister Ingrid. I wish I could marry her, but she told in Flensburg that she had a boy friend and wants to marry him and I can be just friend to her or a friend like a brother.
I do not know if I had invited her to a dance party and took her hands in mine, may be she would have changed and would take me more seriously like a boy friend. But as we learn in Iran not to touch the girl and be serious with her; so I did not. But in Europe if you love a girl you should touch her and kiss her so she will come closer to you.
With the time I lost my hope to be serious with Ingrid and stay just like pen friends and the love was like brother and sister love.
Now I was living in a hotel and room was free and food was free also. We did not get the same food as the guests did, but the cook prepared extra food for the workers in the hotel. I was working in the kitchen and the people who worked in the office had different level.
The first day when I went there to the office the girl though I am a guest and was very friendly to me and respected me a lot. As she knows that I am coming there for work here attitude changed completely. And she said very cold, so you came here to work. In the time that I did not work I went to the beach and see the beautiful Germans there. I got friends with families and girls. They thought the same that I am a guest in the hotel also.
So they were friendly. One girl came also very close to me and her name was Hildegard. She was 16 years old. In my condition I wanted just to have contact and know the language and culture. But this time the girl was more active as Ingrid. She holds my hand and walked with me along the seaside the German look at us as they were not happy a German girl with a foreigner. As I walked with Ingrid it was different as I took always distance with her; even on that condition some old woman looked unhappy at us as I am trying to cheat the girl and make her pregnant and run away as they prejudges. But with Hildegard was the matter different, she does not want to be my sister and be in a sister relationship; she wanted more and I could not do it as I did not learn it; it was the first time that a girl hold my hand and with bikini swimming suit walked so closed with me that I feel her body always in contact with my body. Sorrowfully at that time I did not learn to enjoy the love and sex together.
Hildegard always was trying to teach me that the sex is not bad and is a normal matter. As long as the girls are not harmed it is fine, but what about the boy. He can feel in love, too and the girl will leave; do you think that is fair, the boys are not human being with feeling and love? She told me the boys do not get pregnant, but the girls do, so the girls should be supported more. She was trying to kiss me, but I could not kiss her back as I did not learn it and so I did not enjoy it. Now I know this type of Love, but now I am not in the condition of a 19 years old boy. I remember one of my uncle said in the past we were young we could eat, we did not have the money. Now we have the money, but the doctors say we should not eat. In the time that you have the experience you are old and do not have the same possibilities. Hildegard was always trying to explain to me that sex is a good and normal matter; it is not a taboo. As she said that she cannot be with me and marry me I lost also the interest about her and she did not want to be a friend like sister also. So I was very depressed. With other words she was saying she wants to play with me for a short time and than forget everything. As she wants to marry a German man and not me this hearts me. The other girl that I know was a girl with about 20 years old. Her name was Gabi and she was different, the first day that we walked together and it became dark; she wanted to have sex. I afraid and thought how can I have sex with the girl whom I know her just for few hours. But even she respected my thinking and we went together to a bar and were friend for a while. I said to her that I want just to be friend and learn your culture and language. Ingrid writes to me for a long time, but with the time as I changed my place so I lost the connection. Know I think if the King of Persia did more universities in Iran, we should not live in other countries like poor people. And the people have also disliked us. For the rich students it was no problem; the money that they had and spent make everything easy for them. For very intelligent students it was not a problem also as they could get a lot of support from the government and universities. The problem was with us the students of middle class family who were not very intelligent also. The student like us should stay just few months in different countries to study and not years. We are good to study at home and not aboard. As we will lose our time.