Arrival on the Orient Express

The seal of the Orient Express. Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

After twelve years apart, persecuted by communists, my parents finally managed to get together in Munich in 1956. My mom boarded the Orient Express in Zagreb, Croatia, then under communist Yugoslavia, with my older sister Elica who was twelve years old. She had never seen her father. Their meeting point was the station of Munich in Germany.

My father was waiting for them with a bouquet of twelve red roses (one for each year of separation). A friend insisted on going with him because he thought that the moment’s emotion would be too much for my dad.

My mom saw him first from the train and waved. He climbed into the car and embraced her while my sister looked and waited for her turn. Dad was incredibly moved to see his daughter, who he had left as a newborn baby, as a teenager. She looked at him and said formally: How do you do? But immediately was embracing him overcome by an indescribable feeling of love for a father she was all her life wishing to find.

My dad took the suitcases, and they went out. My sister has in her memory the smell of vapor and coal of the train engine.

They noticed a group of people with my dad’s friend in the middle of them very agitated on the platform. They approached the group and found out that his friend’s wife had fainted because of the emotion.

FOWC: Vapor

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