If you miss me next week, I’m in prison.
My bike has been in the center of Arnhem for weeks. I lost the key. I dare not take it up and take it to my house. I have black hair, come from Syria and have no proof that it’s my bike, so it’s asking for trouble to lift the luggage rack and so walk the city. In the Netherlands, I have learned, you need a label for everything. I do not have a label for the bike, because I received him from neighborhood residents when I lived in the Dutch refugee shelter The Dome. When I was just dreaming about my new future, I wanted to rent a room and cook food. The Dutch said I had to have a diploma. I should organize everything and arrange things before I could open a small diner. If I have to do all of that, I do not want the diner anymore. In my opinion, everything in the Netherlands is so expensive because papers are needed everywhere. In Syria, each street has many restaurants, a few mini markets and a bakery. There are also small restaurants where almost all Syrians buy fool and humus or falafel on Friday morning, when everyone is at home. You pick it up at such a restaurant and have a nice time at home, as you get a fries. The owners of such a business need a license, but they just buy you. You go to the town hall, say what you want, pay and you have the paper in. You do not need it for small restaurants. Also no diploma. People with a small restaurant are just good at cooking. Experience is more important than a diploma or paper. Not here. Here you need a license to work, you must have a diploma to get a job and I have to prove that my bike is mine. I can not, but I’m going to pick up my bike and take home, no matter how risky it is. If you miss me in the newspaper next week, I’m in prison because I stole my own bike.