I spend most of my days painting and having conversations with my very limited Russian vocabulary, the odd word in Kyrgyz and greetings in Arabic. “Assalamu’aleikum, you good? Me Normandy and England. Nice? Thank you! “ .
The kids are fascinated by the murals, by the language we speak, and by the way we mix colours in plastic tubs. They hang around us, watching us work, playing with stones, climbing fences and adding scabs to generously scared knees. We’ve never had a deep conversation, but we know each other. Emo is always ready to fetch water for us, Daniel can get us plastic bags or sticks to mix the paint, Albina comes over and punches our fists with excessive force because that’s how tough girls say hi.
I doubt they understand how we’ve landed here, but as long as there’s life out on their streets, I guess they’re happy. And so am I.