Every time I go to bed, my mind flies back to those nights in Greece. To the nights we drove carloads of blankets to camp Idomeni and Hara, but obviously never enough for everyone. To those nights after the rain, where all tents, inside and outside, all blankets, clothes and people were soaking wet and freezing cold.
”Give me a blanket please, just one blanket”
”You have a blanket already. I know it’s not enough, I know you’re still cold, but look – this person doesn’t have any blanket at all, and we only have one blanket left.”
”It’s for my children, please, they’re cold”
The blanket he has around his shoulders is as thick as a bathing towel. But we don’t have enough blankets.
There have been push backs from the Greece-Macedonian border this night – like every night. People are trying to cross the border with the help of smugglers, but many are arrested by the police and sent back. Sometimes also beaten up. They leave with few belongings, and often return with even fewer. We don’t have blankets for everyone, not to mention tents.
Who has a blanket? Who is exaggerating? Who is telling the truth? We try to be fair, but fairness doesn’t exist, does it? It is cold, for everyone. We run out of blankets, we drive home. I lie down on a pallet under the warmest blanket that I can find. Two blankets. Three blankets. It’s not windy, it’s not wet. Still, I am cold.
I’m in a hotel room now, one week later. In a soft bed, under a thick duvet, in a different country. The people in the camps are still there, in their tents. They’ve been there for almost three months. For how much longer will they live like this?