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The Reception Room

After asking for asylum at the gate of center Sandholm, many refugees will stay for a short time in the reception room, before being allocated a more permanent place to stay. And the reception room can make interesting acquaintances. Read a reportage from the well-known room.

At one o’clock in the night of the 31st of August 2012, I was taken to what they called a reception room where there were eight beds.  I was the only one in the room. I made my bed and slept.

I was wakened by noise from a newcomer to the room. A man from Somalia that had drunk so much that he could not make his bed by himself. He asked me to help him, and I did (we had the same name).

I went back to sleep and when it was daybreak a third man came in. He was from Nigeria and he said his name was Luky. During the next day Arash from Iran, Ahmed from Yemen, Julius from Uganda and Kadhum from Iran joined us in the small room.

Long talks
Arash always wanted to know about many things, and I tried my best to explain the historical, political, and religious subjects to him. We had long talks most of the time, and he plans to make a documentary film in the future about world religions.

Helping out
Mahmoud the Somali was somehow a bit nervous, he always had a problem. Every time he used the locker, he had an issue getting the key out of the lock and called me to help. I did some abracadabra magical moves of my hands, and with one touch the key was free to his astonishment.

Not lucky for Luky
We had a good time and everybody was friendly with each other. We had a good laugh at Luky’s thoughts and expectations. From the first day I advised him, not to get on a bus or train without a ticket. On Monday morning, Luky was provided with new clothes. His appointment for new clothes was moved forward almost six weeks, he said “I am Lucky”. He had a good shower that day and put on his new training suit and new shoes. After lunch he disappeared. He turned up late that evening saying he went to Copenhagen without telling anybody, and he was fined (770, DK) for not having ticket. Everybody had a good laugh about that incident and Luky’s bad luck.

Home from home
Suddenly medium caliber machine gun was heard nearby, followed by explosions of some bombs and some light caliber machine gun fire also started. We were in a war zone, a war environment and I even saw some explosions smoke near the fence of building 68. Maybe they want to relax us by these sounds and make us feel at home? We heard these noises repeatedly many times a day during my stay at the reception room, which is placed just next to a military training ground.

Moving on
The first one to move and leave the room was Ahmed from Yemen. On Tuesday night he was moved to center Auderød, and sent there by taxi. Mahmoud from Somalia also moved the next day to Auderød center. I was moved to a nearby room in the same building and Luky was moved to a center about an hour bus ride from Jelling in Jylland. Julius moved his belongings to a relative in Copenhagen and he also stayed there. Therefore Arash and Kadhum were left alone in the room. Sometime in the day a thief entered the room either from an open window or an open door. There was nobody in the room at that moment and the thief stole their bedding.

Then on Friday morning Arash, Kadhum, Julius and I received the word to move to Auderød center.

Goodbye, but not forgotten
During our stay in that room, we enjoyed the company of each other. Everybody spoke some
English except the young Iranian, Kadhum, and we all exchanged telephone numbers. I am still in touch with Arash, Kadhum, Luky, and Julius.

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