All alone or all together?

Tatjana Ždanokas office is the office of an old lady. She needs more than five tries until she finally manages to pick up her smart-phone. Her assistant is ill today, she seems to be helpless without her. Every time I visit the Parliament to interview MEPs, their assistants come down to the lobby, sign me in and guide me through the security check. Today, Mrs. Ždanoka comes down to the lobby herself and somehow she seems to be lost between all the young assistants, moving faster than her and knowing better what to do.

Her office is located at the very end of a corridor. Posters of Scotland and Catalonia decorate the walls. Mrs. Ždanoka is a member of the “European Free Alliance Group” which stands for the self-determination of the regions in Europe. But what Mrs. Ždanokas really cares about are the stateless Russian speaking people in Latvia. In our talk later she will always come back to them, no matter the topic. The whole corridor and her office are really quiet. Since her office is located at the building’s corner I would have loved to check the view but all windows are closed with white curtains. Just artificial light illuminates the room.

DSCF3371

There is nearly none square centimeter of plain white wall in her office. All is covered with pictures of Russian orthodox saints. The handout “Introduction to the European Free Alliance Group” tells me that one of Mrs. Ždanoka’s hobbies is knitting, so I guess that the colorful, a little kitschy, embroidered landscapes in-between are self made. She wears a colorful, fuzzy cardigan. She is over sixty years, so far the oldest MEP I interviewed. Her Russian accent reminds me of an old lady I baked cookies with in a kitchen with streamed windows in Latvia.

But even though Mrs. Ždanoka might look like a grandmother baking cookies for her grandchildren she isn’t harmless. Her opinion isn’t quite usual here in Brussels and during the long talk she gives me exactly what I’m searching for: Her vision for Europe. Continue reading

The very last chance to support Frollein Europa!

A little Update from Brussels and a very last chance to support Frollein Europa.

I’m the fifth day in Europe’s capital now and I really enjoy it. I already had several interviews mit MEPs and still have some. Tomorrow I’ll meet Daniel Cohn Bendit.  You’ll get an update on that for sure! I just moved to a new place, but this time I hopefully stay a little longer. The last days I changed hosts every second night which is a great opportunity to meet new people but also quite exhausting…  Now I stay with some people I met on a birthday few days ago and they were kind enough to offer me a place to stay for the time left in Brussels. I’ll write that story down too and share it with you!

If you liked my project so far and maybe enjoyed the blog I would be really grateful for a little support at http://www.pling.de/projekte/comment/349/Frollein%20Europa.  Just five more hours to go and 375€ more needed… Please twitter or share the project on facebook also if you have the possiblity to do so.

 

Thank you so much and see you soon,

 

your frollein Europa

 

 

Wir gegen Die

Es ist, als würde um mich herum ein perfekt inszeniertes Musical stattfinden. Die eiligen Schritte durch den Schnee sind eine Choreografie, ich traue mich nicht zu blinzeln, aus Angst den Moment zu verpassen, in dem ergraute Männer mit Aktentaschen unterm Arm, Frauen in roten Businesskleidern, Chauffeure und dicke Männer mit hohen Kochmützen sich an den Händen fassen und singen.

Die Kulisse: riesige Glasbauten, ein großes Herz blinkt darauf. Taxis hupen und ein Kamerateam versucht ein viel zu großes Mikrofon durch die Drehtüren zu manövrieren.

Ich warte vorm Europäischen Parlament auf den Assistenten meines ersten Interviewpartners. Frank Engel aus Luxemburg. 34 Jahre alt und Mitglied der Christdemokratischen Fraktion. Mit 34 ist man in der Politik ein Vertreter der jungen Generation. Ich will von ihm wissen, was er für eine Vision für Europa hat und was seine Ansichten von denen, der älteren Generation unterscheidet. Google verriet mir über ihn vor allem, dass es da mal eine skandalträchtige Alkoholfahrt mit 2,9 Promille gab. Danke Herr Engel, dass nimmt die Angst.
DSCF3361
Herz überm Eingang des Parlaments

Continue reading

Im Meer schwimmen Krokodile

Der letzte Post aus Berlin ist zum ersten aus Brüssel geworden. Aber bevor ich euch morgen von meinem ersten Interview hier in Brüssel berichte, möchte ich euch ein Buch ans Herz legen und gleichzeitig mit meinem Berliner Thema „Migration“ abschließen.
Das Buch, das ich euch empfehle, heißt „Im Meer schwimmen Krokodile“ , geschrieben von Fabio Geda.
Fabio Geda hat Enaiat, den späteren Ich-Erzähler der Geschichte, auf einer seiner Lesungen getroffen. Enaiat erzählte ihm von seinem Leben, Fabio Geda schrieb es auf und aus Enaiats Leben wurde ein Bestseller. Es hat etwas märchenhaftes, und märchenhaft im grausamsten Sinne ist auch die Geschichte, die das Buch erzählt. Continue reading

About : Offtopic

Hello together,

I hope you had a great New Years Eve. I’ve had a incredible nice one in Prague. In the post below I take you to Prague and a sowjet-styled dormitory. Follow me! Furthermore, I decided to add a new categorie to this blog. It’s called “off-topic”. Off-topic deals with all the nice little stories you are facing when you are traveling. The stories are worth sharing them with you, eventhough they are not related to my current topic “migration in Europe”.  My blog still is a political blog and my project stays the same. Just imagine Off-topic as the magazin-part in your newspaper.

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

all the best,

Frollein Europa

DSCF8017
me (left) with a friend in Prague

Ihr Lieben,

ich hoffe, ihr seid alle gut ins neue Jahr gekommen. Frollein Europa hat in Prag gefeiert. Was es dort zu sehen, hören und riechen gab, findet ihr unter dem folgenden englischen Post oder wenn ihr hier klickt. Ich habe mich entschieden, noch eine “Offtopic” Kategorie hinzuzufügen. Bei dieser kleinen Pilotreise nach Prag sind mir so viele Geschichten über den Weg gelaufen, die es wert wären mit euch geteilt zu werden, einen kleinen Europa- oder Reisebezug haben, aber definitiv nicht ins Thema “Migration in Europa” passen. Mein Blog wird trotzdem ein politischer bleiben und mein Projekt unverändert. Stellt euch einfach vor, Offtopic wäre der Magazinteil eurer Zeitung.

Ich hoffe, ihr könnt euch damit anfreunden!

Einen guten Start ins Jahr 2013 wünscht,

Frollein Europa

p.s. Frollein Europa kommt ins Radio! Schaltet dafür einfach Montag zwischen 17 und 18 Uhr FluxFM ein. In Berlin auf der Frequenz 100,6 MHz, für Stuttgart, Bremen und das Webradio klickt hier

A European New Years Eve

Since a few years me and a dutch friend who I met years ago in Latvia, have a tradition: every year we celebrate new years eve together, somewhere in Europe with people we meet there. This year I nearly chickened out: too much work had to be done for Frollein Europa, spending a few days abroad didn’t really fit in my working schedule… But in the end we just decided, to spend half a day every day working. And that I’ll write a blogpost about Prague.

As always Eline and I used couchsurfing for traveling. First, we stayed with a really nice host who had tonnes of Christmas cookies and a wide knowledge about Prague. But this isn’t the story I want to tell you, I want to take you to my New Years Eve.

I hope you enjoy.

 Former Glory

The Strahov Students dormitory is located high on a mountain above Prague, right next to the Strahov Stadium, the world biggest stadium. In CSSR times thousands of men in white underwear danced here to show the strength of the Sowjet Union.

Today little remains to the former glory. Concrete walls scratch the blue sky. The ten dormitory blocks aren’t scratching the sky, nor do they remind to former glory. They must have been ugly from the moment they were built. One after another they stay in two rows, distinguishable form each other just by the black number above the entrance. Sport grounds are located between the two rows and I didn’t even need to close my eyes to imagine seeing young men preparing hard to contribute their little piece in the competition of systems. Continue reading