MY POINT OF VIEW

My opinion in a world with freedom of speech

Month: October, 2013

The good deed for the day

I am starting to realize I mostly focus on serious – and let us call it sad – subjects in here. Tonight on the other hand, I want to tell you about my “good deed” for today.

As my art class headed to another city to see a couple of museums, we saw  a homeless man sitting on the street, asking for money. Now, even though I often want to, I almost never give money to beggars, mostly because I never know what they will spend it on. So as we passed this guy, we decided to buy him some food and a cup of coffee instead. Now this is something I have wanted to do for ages, but never have, but today we did.

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And this man’s face 
when we gave it to him… You could tell by his body language that he was a tired and old man, and even when we approached him and he did not yet know we were going to give him anything, he looked so exhausted… But then, when handing him the coffee and buns, everything about him changes. He smiles, both with his eyes and mouth, and does not even know what to say, just looks at us and says, “Thank you… Jesus” and kind of lifts his arms up to us.

I can not even explain how good I felt after that. For me, it is not such a big deal really, it only cost us about 3 Euro, but seeing how much he appreciated it… How he started warming his hands on the warm cup of coffee right away … It made me realize how much that meant to this man. How our 3 Euro pretty much saved his day.

So I guess what I want to say about today’s post – it is not to brag about “my good deed” and stuff, it is more to explain to you that a couple of minutes of your day can actually make another person’s day a million times better. Try it sometime, it is worth it.

  • Have you ever done a small thing you know saved another person’s day?

Monika

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Maniacs on the Internet

I always keep an open mind when it comes to getting to know new people. I never judge anyone before I actually have a proper conversation with them – alright, I might have some thoughts upon how they are, but never decide not to give them a chance based on those thoughts. In 2009 I decided to broaden my horizon and joined two international pages; StudentsoftheWorld and InterPalsThrough both pages I have gotten to know people all over the world – some I have talked to for just a short time, others for months or even years. But wow, does these pages have many weird members.

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I began thinking about this today, when I had my last conversation with a Turkish guy who contacted me on e-mail a while ago. We sent a few e-mails back and forth for a little while – and he seemed pretty nice – before he asked if he could add me on Facebook, and not thinking too much about it, I gave him my name and permission. Then the stalking began. The non stop talking – from his side, that is. And as I thought it was just too full on I simply quit answering him much. Then one day he calls me. I never game him my number. Never thought of the chance of him calling me.

After that I ignore him and his messages completely, until today. He sends me a message on Facebook again, saying a lot of crap really, and I tell him it just was not appropriate that he called and just wouldn’t understand I was not interested. Then suddenly he says, “Such a Norwegian girl , arrogant …” And oh my God, that tipped me off the edge. I usually do not care if people call me things, and honestly I did not see this as a personal insult as the guy does not even know me, but the fact that he just spoke like that as if he knew every Norwegian girl. As if he had met a Norwegian girl in person – which he has not. Well, I told him exactly what I thought of him after that. I never say things like that to people, because the description of “arrogant” is as far away as you could get from me, but in this conversation I had enough.

Anyway, in the end I told him he has some issues he needs to deal with (this really is the first time ever I say something like that to someone, but this guy totally deserved it as he just did not take my point), and then deleted him from my friend list. A couple of minutes later he says “An advice to you, if you are afraid to talk to stranger people, don’t talk to them on Facebook. I am lucky, cuz you are not my friend”, then blocked me. This is probably one of the most pathetic people I have ever spoken to, and by everything he said I saw that he does not know me at all.

I love talking to new people and getting to know their stories – there is a reason I have this blog, there is a reason for why I have written letters for four years – but even I have limits. And the limit is a couple of miles before this guy; I do not have the interest in talking to people who expect me to be in touch 24/7 and who I do not actually have anything in common with. Or those people who have made up their minds, already decided Norwegian people are like this or that. And particularly not; those who think I am in for an Internet relationship …because believe it or not, this is not the first guy who has turned out to be pretty crazy, but luckily the worst one this far.

I really hope I do not sound too shallow or anything now, because I am not, but this guy just pissed me off.

  • Have you ever had experiences like this on the Internet?

Monika

Sachsenhausen ~ post three

This will be my last post about Sachsenhausen. And I will focus on showing you some pictures this time, explaining a bit more on some of them.

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No, the rocks above 
are not for playing. The prisoners were forced to walk back and forth on these to try out new shoes. They tested out the shoe soles, and how much they could bear. Sometimes they had to carry heavy bags on their backs to put on more weight. And hours would pass as they walked like this.

DSC_1236_“In memory of the victims of Sachsenhausen concentration camp”

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This is the Norwegian Memorial 
place, where my class put roses. “The Norwegian government honors the 2500 Norwegians who had to suffer through the terror at Sachsenhausen between 1940 and 1945 because of resisting the Nazi occupants. Many of them lost their lives after the inhuman treatment in this camp. We will honor you forever.”

Monika

 

Sachsenhausen ~ part two

I want to share one of the first stories we were told at Sachsenhausen.

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Can you imagine moving this? 
I cannot. It is way too big, way too heavy. But while Sachsenhausen was used as a concentration camp, people were forced to. They used it while they worked, to fix the ground. Good choice of words to explain, I know, sorry.

Anyway, on days some of the Nazi guys just felt to be worse, they enjoyed playing with the poor people trapped inside the camps. We were told some of these stories, one of them was about the big thing on the picture. They were usually 12 men when they pulled this one around, just for “fun” they could be eight. Then four, and this is where the short story begins… when a Nazi decided one of the four men didn’t work as hard as the others. And he decided to make the man pull the whole thing all on his own.

The man, obviously, does not have enough strength to move it. So the Nazi says he doesn’t do as he is told. Then deals with the situation by killing the man. No questions asked. The man did not obey his orders, so he needs to be punished.

Even though I have been told stories like these through the years, I can still not understand how the Nazi could work in these camps, do so horrible things and then walk home to their families, their wives, their children… and just be a nice husband, father… It is probably something I will never get my head around.

Monika

Sachsenhausen ~ post one

Our trip to Berlin went well, although we did meet a few problems here and there. But this post is not about that; I want to tell about my experiences when visiting Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Which, as expected, was tough. I have got some things I want to mention, so I will probably make a few posts on this topic and add it as one of my “weekly topics”.

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Have you ever read 
“The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”? I have. And I think it is a great book. A truly nice story. What I never thought about though, is how surreal it is. At school this year I will write an assignment about the story in “Schindler’s List” and compare it to “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas“, because they are both about World War II, however; one is written out of what actually happened, while the other does not deal with all the facts.

In “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas we are introduced to two boys; one who is Jewish and one who is German. The son of a Nazi. The Jewish boy, Shmuel, lives in a concentration camp – Auschwitz. But in spite of that, he becomes friend with the German boy on the outside.

I never thought about it before, not until I started writing this assignment and reading about the criticism the book has received. Then I went to Sachsenhausen, and understood even better, why people criticize the book.

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The walls. The tall, thick 
walls and the wires on the top and down at the ground. I do not write this post to criticize the book; as I said, I think it is a great story. I was really moved by it when I read it; the movie as well. However, going to Sachsenhausen made me think. And with the book on my mind, I realized exactly how trapped these people were. We also had a guide with us, and all the stories he told … wow, I am surprised of how cruel mankind can be sometimes. Then again not surprised. Maybe angry is a better word.

Anyway, the walls were actually my first thought when entering. That is what split these innocent people away from the world. That hid all the bad things that were done to them; I am fully aware of the fact that things were not good on the outside either at this time, but still … all the stories we will never know, all the cruelness these people had to suffer through, and that died with them… I do not think we can ever imagine how bad it actually was in there. But over these next posts, I will try to tell some of the stories we were told when visiting one of the most important concentration camps.

  • Have you ever visited a concentration camp?

Monika