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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 42 | volume VIII | May-June, 2005



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 42May-June, 2005
Prose

Refuge

/7
p. 1
Thomas Shapcott

    Emre would rise at five. His palliasse could be slid beneath the couch so that Frau Losberg could use the tiny room through the day for her piece-work sewing. Emre was grateful for this space. It was much more tolerable than the Migrant Hostel. His wife and daughter were still in the women’s quarters but he was determined that would end. This present situation was only temporary though he had been living in Frau Losberg’s front room for ten weeks. An apartment – even if only two rooms – would be found somewhere. Adelaide had many houses split up into flats, sharing kitchen and bathroom space but at least they were preferable to the dormitories and inedible meals at the Hostel.
    As soon as he had escaped the Hostel Emre was able to drag his precious typewriter from the leather suitcase which was all he was able to bring with him. Its keyboard was Hungarian but could manage English. He typed out, on thick white paper; many repetitions of his calling card and then cut them carefully to size:
       Dr Emre Halasz Ll.D
       Translator and Linguist.
       Personal letters and documents
       Typed and prepared to order.
    Frau Losberg’s address was given. She had agreed to that, on the promise of clear typed copies of her tenancy agreements with all her lodgers, expressed as ‘reimbursement of outlays and maintenance’ to avoid Australian taxation watchdogs. Emre’s typing was always meticulous, though he worried about the cost of a new typewriter ribbon. Every postage stamp was a consideration.
    By 5.15 he was washed, shaved and dressed, his neat goatee scrupulously trimmed. No breakfast. The woollen suit still looked presentable, Frau Losberg had turned the cuffs and collar excellently (in exchange for labour in painting the front exterior) and had assured him there were years of use there, if he did not wear out the pocket linings with objects. He pulled on his almost-new Homburg (a miracle from Anglicare) and affixed the bicycle clips. His first acquisition once he got out of the Migrant Hostel had been the attaché case. He kept it oiled and polished and had made his own attachment in front of the bicycle to carry it to work. The bicycle had been the major investment and he was still terrified – he dreamed of it being stolen, or smashed, or there being a bomb exploding in the very street, even though he had been


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