When I have to go to university early in the morning, I often buy a juice at the kiosk down in the underground station. I always buy it from the same man. Meanwhile, I just put the 80 cent on the counter and wish him a nice day, just like he does to me.
Born in Turkey but growing up in Germany, he has been living in Eimsbüttel for more than 20 years now. He does not really feel Turkish any more.
“I grew up in this neighborhood. I’ve been living here since I was three years old. For me, there is no other home than Hamburg. “
Especially to Eimsbüttel he has a very special connection. As a small child he used to live near Osterstraße. There was a small kiosk and once a week he was allowed to get some sweets from his pocket money there.
“The kiosk was run by a couple. The man always told me stories about astronauts and cowboys, and the woman always gave me a candy for free. They were like a second family for me like and it was my weekly highlight to go there. “
As he grew older he did not go there to buy sweets but alcohol. He always remained faithful to the two. But some day the couple closed their kiosk and retired. At first he was sad. But then he knew. He wanted to do the same. Today he has his own kiosk down in the underground station close to my home.
“It is as if I would continue their business. Even if it is not the same kiosk. But it is a piece of memory for me. “
What the old couple does today he did not know for a long time. Not whether they were still living here or have moved away long ago.
“I remember the day an old gentleman came to my kiosk. It was about 2 years ago. I just took over the kiosk. The man ordered a coffee: “As always.” But I had to pass because I did’nt know how the man would like to drink his coffee. When he looked at me to explain whether he would like to drink it with milk or sugar I could hardly believe it. The same man, who told me stories when I was a child, was ordering a coffee at my kiosk today. He was visibly amazed too. We talked for a long time, he told of his wife, his children and grandchildren. And I told of mine. Today he comes over once a week to drink his coffee.. With milk but without sugar.“
“That’s what I love about my job. It’s the People! Those who return, no matter for what reason. Those who wish me a nice day or give me a friendly smile. People just like you! I know I will be no millionaire at the end of my days. But going to work looking forward to talk to so many different people is what really matters to me.“
For personal reasons, I did not mention names in this blog entree. But again, this story makes something become clear to me.
On the one hand, every human being tells a story. I want to hear this story and I want to tell you about it. I thank everyone who allows me to write about him. And I take nothing for granted. One of my girls asked me and a few other girls about books that have shaped our lives. Surely I could call her some, but I also told her that I’ve got so much inspiration in the past few weeks as I’ve never had before. People and their stories are one of the most inspiring things in the world. And I am grateful everyday that I decided to write this blog.
And on the other hand it made me realise that there are so many things we value too little. A smile for example or a friendly hello. What always strikes me is that people are rather confused when you smile at them than smiling back. I find it a pity that we are living in such a negative world, even though we should be those to be glad living in a country where we are much better than in many other parts of the world.
So guys: start to appreciate your fellow human beings. Give them a smile! Be friendly! And try to be happy with what you have. And lastly: ask them about their story. Believe me you will not regret it.