Living abroad and befriending people with different backgrounds satisfy one of my greatest needs: to hear beautiful stories about beautiful people, stories that will keep my faith in humanity high for a little bit more.
Last week someone told me about a British lawyer that sold everything he owned in London and moved to India, where he opened a school for Indian orphans. He even made them a cute uniform, thinking this will give them a sense of belonging. While still in London and working on this project, he met a nurse willing to help him. In time, this partnership turned into a love story and now they are married and living in India, fulfilling their lives with the joy they give to the little orphans.
A while ago, a Tunisian friend told me how her grandmother seduced her grandfather with a traditional Tunisian sefsari. She was passing him by and she dropped her sefsari just enough to smile at him mysteriously, then she pulled it back over her face. In two weeks, he was at her house, asking for her hand to her parents and they lived happily ever after.
I must admit sefsaris are quite sexy and not in the vulgar way and a woman can turn them into seduction weapons with just a bit of imagination. I have some things in my mind but I don’t have a sefsari. Yet. 🙂
My favourite kind of stories are the ones evoking the first love. What I like best about them is the tone people use when talking about their first love. There is always this nostalgia sweetening their voice, nostalgia not for the person but for the innocence and for the authenticity of the feelings. When first discovering you feel love for someone, anxiety and hope and shame mix up into something you will never feel again but you will remember forever with a pinch in your heart.
My Greek friend told us about her first love. She was 12, visiting relatives in Tunis and he owned a video store in the neighborhood. He was a young version of Eros Ramazzotti and my friend spent the three months of summer in his store.
I am grateful for living in a city like London, where people come from everywhere, bringing their stories with them and sharing them to their new friends. I always feel inferior in terms of story telling: I have no amazing story to tell and sometimes I wonder if I really lived in my first 30 years of life, or just existed?
But…until I create my own great stories, I will keep on collecting other people’s stories, feeding my mind and my soul with them, absorbing them like a sponge. Writing them down is my way of never letting them go because no story deserves to die.