“He is our Turk.”

The following story was told to me in English.

“So, I did my PhD in Germany. Where I lived, I didn’t have a TV or internet, but I lived next to a bar. I started going there to watch football and hang out. Every time I went, I saw this same group of older guys. They were always there, drinking beer and talking. One day they called me over to their table, handed me a beer, and told me I needed to learn German. After a few more beers, I got pretty good at German, I think.

So we did that together for a while. I met with those old men every day at the bar, and they taught me German. Then, one day, a new guy comes in. He looks at me, and he says “What is a Turkish guy like you doing here? What gives YOU the right to be at OUR bar?”

The old men heard this and stood up immediately. “He is our friend. He is our Turk. You do not say these things to him. This is unacceptable.” And they kicked him out of the bar. And that’s when I knew I had been accepted into the community. They still recognize me when I go back, and they’re still at the bar, drinking and talking.”
-A Venezuelan coworker

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