one day at a time

strangers 2 and 3 of 100

strangers 2 and 3 of 100 © Verena Fischer

strangers 2 and 3 of 100 © Verena Fischer

On Wednesday when I was walking past a chicken grill on Turmstraße right across from the subway station I was quite surprised that these two Turkish guys wanted me to take a picture of them. It’s not the first time that this happened to me, but it hadn’t happened in ages, so that I was caught a bit off guard. I was lucky that I immediately got the camera settings right, although I was shooting manually with my not very fast 55-250mm lens. It was already getting dark and the light from the shop door would probably have confused the automatic program, so I’m indeed quite happy with how the picture turned out.

The guy on the right seemed to be the owner of the grill and the guy on the left was his friend who was hanging out in the shop for a bit. They invited me to come in and have a drink with them, I gave them one of my cards and we had a bit of a chat. Since the shop owner was a bit busy tending to customers I heard more about the other guy’s story. He came to Germany when he was 15 and is happy to be here, although he finds it difficult to find work at the moment. At least there is the social security system here that makes his life in Germany a lot easier than it would be in Turkey. And all this time since he came here he has lived in Moabit. Later the shop owner told me that he also had a camera, but only an analogue one and we were talking a bit about the skills needed for these modern DSLRs. When I told him that I’m not working at the moment, he offered me a job preparing the salads. I told him that he doesn’t really want to hire me since I’m a programmer and have two left hands when it comes to “real work”. He laughed and dropped the issue.

This wasn’t the most amusing part of this chance encounter though. It was a maybe 10 year old boy sitting in the back corner eating half a chicken with a massive amount of fries (I vaguely remember consuming similar amounts of chicken when I was his age). He assured me that he already knew how to drive a car and how annoying he finds it that he’s only allowed to try in the forest. He was really naive and funny. And he already had grand plans: He wants to go to America to get a driving licence with 16. Ah, the priorities of boys!

8 responses

  1. Olivia Griselda

    I’d really love to try out a 100 strangers experiment myself. An interesting story you got for this picture!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm

  2. What a great portrait and story to go along with it. This was a joy to read Verena!

    November 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

  3. Looks pretty good there. That lens I think is actually pretty cool. Nothing super awesome, but not junk either. And yeah, I wish they had a 2.8 version of it, lol

    November 18, 2011 at 6:43 pm

  4. This is a good series, Verena. It takes courage to photograph strangers, so brilliant you’re doing it. Great photograph 🙂

    November 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm

  5. you handled the job offer part very well 🙂

    photographing strangers is a challenging assignment but i would bet very fulfilling and creatively satisfying. I follow this blog (link below) where the author does something similar , he calls it 1 percent of the 13 million (population of Delhi, India).
    http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2009/12/05/mission-delhi-%e2%80%93-one-per-cent-in-13-million/

    beforewardned, it is addictive,also some of the posts might be a bit hard on some first world citizens !

    November 19, 2011 at 12:37 am

  6. Hey, great story here.. All the best for the project!

    November 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm

  7. I think I would have been a bit take aback, too, Ms. F…
    you did a great job, though… it’s a wonderful portrait!
    🙂

    November 22, 2011 at 12:32 am

  8. I love reading these stories that accompany the portraits of strangers. They make the world seem a bit smaller as so many are similar regardless of place of residence.

    December 17, 2011 at 10:55 pm

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