“Please, do take a picture,” I ask a passerby who has stopped for a chat, bicycle in hand, at the table on the road in front of our workspace in Wageningen.
High in the mountains of eastern Serbia, an elderly woman is sitting on a couch, under a blanket. She is knitting socks. Pair after pair go through her hands, and when she has diligently knitted 12 pairs of socks, her son Slobodan and wife Nina come along with their children. They have a wonderful family time, and then her son and his family drive backdown the mountain (with the motor off). After driving for hours and crossing one international border, they arrive home safe and sound in Osijek. (Croatia)
The socks even visit a monastery high in the mountains of Austria before they continue on to the Netherlands.
And there they are on a table by the road on the Bergstraat in Wageningen. All kinds of people pass by. They don’t know about the beautiful story behind the hand-knitted socks. But on a good cold, crisp day, the door creaks and a woman from the local refugee center passes by. She sees the socks and wants two pairs for her and her daughter with cold feet, because the heating is low in the refugee center.
The socks changed owners again. I tell her the story of the elderly woman from the mountains of Serbia who knits these socks to earn money for her funeral. After all, she doesn’t want to be a burden on her family.
The refugee woman smiles from ear to ear. She understands all too well the desire to avoid burdening others. She practices her Dutch on me and says clearly and slowly: I’M PLEASED TO MEET YOU. /Ik Ben Blij Je Te Ontmoeten!
Well. That stole my heart. I am so very happy to meet her! It made my day.
There are 8 pairs of socks left. Let me know if you also want socks with a story.
10 euro if you can afford it.
3 or less if you live somewhere in the world without a residence permit.
Or something in between if that suits you better.
I’ll send them to you wherever you live. By the way, do you see that some words through the story are underlined? If you click you’ll find out all sort of stories from our time in Osijek. The second edition of my first book: “The world around my table” is coming soon and very soon! Let me know if you like a copy. I added a whole part (with 10 chapters about homecoming and belonging to this second edition). And Laurens story Torrie is now the heart of the book!
Just reply and say: Yes, I do like a copy! I’d love to read more stories.