These people are so unfortunate: having to escape their country and leave everything behind, unable to take anything with them. I wouldn’t want to have to go through that.
In 2012, when I was in Nîmes, I met two Croats who made me laugh a lot. At that time, I was finding my detention conditions extremely difficult. One of them told me, “We’re good here! Food to eat, a warm place to sleep, chess to play: what more do you want? When I go back to my country: prison! Prison there is not like here!” That made me think things over. For all those poor migrants, the road is long. They may be fleeing war or poverty, but to end up with what instead?
Unfortunately, the insecurity of the refugee camps, with their violence and misery, is not the end of their long journey. Many of them will be sent back to their point of departure after seeing a paradise forbidden to them. Often criticized, France is far from unpleasant when you live there by its laws and are lucky enough to belong to this country.
The prisons are not the best in the world, but they are far from being the worst.
The two Croats I met at the police station in Nîmes were deeply worried by the thought of serving time in their own country and I think I understand why. There’s a Moldavan here who is in the same situation as them. For him, too, the idea of doing prison time in his own country doesn’t appeal to him at all. There’s nothing fun about being incarcerated anywhere in the world; nobody will tell you it was pleasant living in such a place, even for a short time, for here, there’s nothing to touch.
No women to attract and bring into the game; these are simple pleasures and yet so important for daily well-being, for the life of a man. That’s what’s missing. That’s what I replied to the Croat who agreed with me. We were resigned to abstinence, even masturbation. That’s much more than being deprived of freedom. It’s being reduced to the state of a thing, no longer having the right to be!
Being able only to work and to educate yourself, if possible, and being reduced to a puppet, kind of like Pinocchio; however, your wood grows not from lying but from a lack of love and affection. As some sort of substitute, I plan to participate in a pottery workshop, so I can knead, model and fantasize a little. Being deprived of freedom is also being deprived of fully being a man. So, hands up, and good night!