“The Arnhem municipal secretary turned out to be my buddy”
I am linked to a person from the municipality of Arnhem to support me in making choices. Arnhem wants to help highly educated newcomers on their way. Arnhem’s municipal secretary turned out to be my buddy. He walked over enthusiastically and shook my hand. I started to stammer, I couldn’t remember what to say. Your Highness? His function sounded very important to me. “Just say Rob,” he said. “Shall we take a tour first?” If I’m nervous, I say yes to everything. ,,Yes sir. Um, I mean, yes, Rob.
“We started at the mayor’s room. A historic room with a few chairs and a table. It was not the most beautiful and largest space in the municipality. The meeting room was also an old room with a large table and chairs. The board works in the old part and residents are received in the new beautiful rooms.
I thought of the Aleppo congregation that I sometimes had to go to before the war started. The important officials are at a distance from all people. The whole building is made of marble, they are at the very top. The mayor receives officials in an important room, who give him gifts there. My country of Syria has yet to learn that the congregation is there for the residents, and should not receive gifts behind an expensive desk.
When I went back for my second appointment with the town clerk, I reported to the desk. Sometimes I walk my head in the Syrian clouds and forget about the system here. “Hi, I’m here for Rob.” I expected everyone to jump into the pose to take me to that important man everyone knows of course. The woman looked at me and said: Rob who?
Oh yeah. We are in the Netherlands.