NEW πŸ“—Story: Radio ❌

Picture of Integration

Monday, Jul 31, 2023
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Sitting on the concrete sea wall in Lola.

Tzipora was a picture of integration, because she wanted badly for people to respect her. She also felt she owed something to the country which had lifted her up and given her a quality of life. She had no prospects before coming to Oslola, so she practiced gratitude in everything she did – sometimes out loud.

Lin Zhi was not a picture of integration; Lin Zhi was a black box. She barely spoke English – the common language of Vekllei’s immigrant society and international schools. A lot of the English she did speak came in short, sharp barks. Her severe disposition was well known at Moshel St School. They were paired together in gardening class, and Tzipora learned soon enough that Lin Zhi was not so much rude as she was quiet and isolated, and did not trust or like her peers.

Tzipora was terrible at making friends, but not because she was out of tune with people’s feelings. She knew Zhi was a private person instinctively, and so she did not ask her questions or force conversation except to plant crops and water ferns. Zhi in turn became used to her and they developed silent routines in class.

When Tzipora broke her arm a few months later, Zhi asked how she broke it, without looking up from the soil.

“I was playing tennis and fell on it.”

And Lin Zhi laughed once.