Dream of: 13 January 1995 (3) "Vom Flughaft Gekommen"

Looking out a door or window, I saw I was on perhaps the fifth or six floor of a building. Seeing what appeared to be some stairs leading down the side of the building, I stepped outside onto one of the steps. The step immediately gave way under my weight and I was barely able to grab on to the side of the building to keep from falling. A suitcase which I had with me, however, did tumble to the ground below.

Hanging precariously, I realized I was wrong about the stairs. It hadn't been a stairs at all, but only a small ledge, and no more steps were leading down. My only chance was to try to open a window directly below me and jump inside. I began moving the window with my feet, and when it was open, I slid inside, just as I heard a woman begin screaming.

I stood up and immediately began trying to calm the woman down. She was standing in the room, which looked like a kitchen, with several other people. I could see more people in the other rooms of the house. I realized I was in Germany, and began speaking German. When the woman had quieted down, I turned to a fellow standing next to the window and said, "Ich bin vom Flughaft gekommen."

My German seemed to be coming quite good, even though I hadn't used it in quite a while. I remarked how I had correctly placed the word "gekommen" at the end of the sentence, unlike English, and how I had correctly used the helping verb "bin" rather than "habe." I knew that I had just come from the airport, and that these were the first people with whom I had spoken in Germany since my arrival.

I had damaged the window and told the man I would pay for it. I asked him how much he wanted and he said one mark. I realized that was ridiculously low; I could see from the face of a woman standing close by that she thought so too. I pulled some paper money from my pocket, searched through it and found two five mark pieces which I handed to the man. That seemed to satisfy everyone and I could feel the tension in the room dissipate.

I turned to an unshaven, black-haired man sitting in a chair at a table. He was probably in his early 30s, tall and thin. We immediately began talking in Spanish, although he was difficult to understand, and I began to wonder if he was speaking Italian. I asked, "Usted es Italian?"

He said he wasn't an Italian. He seemed friendly and began telling me that many people were staying in the apartment, which he called a "condo", where we were. I looked around and concluded these were all poor people who had newly arrived in the country and who had no place to go. He told me I could stay here also. I considered it for a moment, but I decided it wouldn't be a good idea. However, I knew I needed some help in finding a place to stay, and I asked him if he would come with me. I called him Manuel. He stood up, and the two of us walked to the door.

***

Reaching the street, I saw my suitcase, which appeared to be open but unharmed. But before I could reach it, several people gathered around it and began pulling things out. I raced over to it and saw several paper bills of American money lying in the suitcase. Some people had already taken some bills and were holding them in their hands. They didn't seem to know what they were and someone asked if the were "greenbacks." When an affirmative reply came, with renewed vigor they began snatching up the remaining bills. I quickly announced that the money and suitcase were mine, and began snatching back the bills from peoples' hands. No one resisted, but I doubted I had gotten back everything.

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