Tag Archives: Egypt

Narrator – away from home


Like my father, I travelled from my mother country to another continent to have a better life. I didn’t want to wander around Europe but I decided to live in Amsterdam – a city where men may love men. Finally this intention worked out exactly reversed.

Via the parents of Arjen – named Arjuna by me – I received documents and a visa for the Netherlands. I left my name Kṛṣṇa behind in Kenya. In this way I hoped to leave behind the dark pages in my life in which I lived with the hungry ghosts in hell. This was not successful: in my dreams and in my stories these pages returned for a long time.

[1]

In my passport I have listed as first name Narrator [2]; like my father I wished to have the role of storyteller in life’s story for the audience. As a tribute to my father, I provided the surname Nārāyana [3].

At the end of the school year I resigned as indwelling teacher at the school. I said goodbye to Arjen and his parents and I thanked them for all the help. One of the teachers at school introduced me to a driver who regularly travelled via Nakuru and Lodwar to Jūbā in South Sudan. The driver made contact with a colleague who drove to Khartoum – the capital of Sudan [4]. In Khartoum I could travel to Wadi Halfa, just before the border with Egypt.

My experience and instinct as a soldier were helpful at a roadblock. With yet another bend to go, the driver noticed a checkpoint in the distance just before a town. The driver could not justify my presence. In the bend I could slip out of the truck. Via a detour through the scrub I entered the town. There I met the driver again to continue our travel.

At Wadi Halfa I could start as indwelling servant on a tourist boat on Lake Victoria. This boat travelled to the North. At Abu Simbil I visited the Temple of Ramses II. Here I saw images of rulers from lost times who were venerated as idols in their hubris. On my trip along the Nile I noticed more forms of pride – as dust particles in the universe. At school I learned the first commandment according to the Catholic format from the sisters: “Thou shalt not worship idols, but worship only Me and above all love me”. This “Me” always remained for me the starry Night and the Moon. These images of idols were no match for the sight of the night sky at new moon.

[5]

In Egypt I travelled the Nile with different boats. On the way I saw several pyramids at a distance – for me pointers to the starry Night and the Moon.

[6]

I could pass the Nile delta by boat to Alexandria. In the library of Alexandria, I read all the stories of Scheherazade – the narrator of the stories from “Thousand and one Night”. Every night she came back to life like the Moon was brought to life by the God Engaï [7] in the Maasai myth.

From Alexandria I left Africa. As my father never returned to India, I never came back in Africa. My mother was not able to come to Amsterdam, because she could not leave her herd. I dared not to ask my father, because I was afraid that he would never go back to my mother: I could not inflict that on her.


[1] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel_(mythologie)

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narrator

[3] Nārāyana means in Sanskrit: “”Son of the original man”. Source: electronic version of the dictionary Monier-Williams – MWDDS V1.5 Beta

[4] In Sanskrit “Su” means amongst others “supreme, good, excellent, beautiful, easy” and “Dān” means “to be, making straight.

[5] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aboe_Simbel

[6] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza

[7] According to a Maasai myth the God Engaï gives cattle to the people and he brings people to life after their death and each day he lets the Moon die. After a sin wherein an opponent was desired death, Engaï lets people die and each night he brought the Moon to life. Source:  http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masa%C3%AF_(volk)

You: Man Leben – your foreparents


Shrivelled face

Autumn leaves on the ground

Furrows of life

The first part of the description of your life is about your foreparents and parents before you came in their lives. You tell about you foreparents:

“About 4500 years ago my foreparents entered our history. Before this period they have lived an immeasurable time on earth. A coherent history of this first period is missing. During excavations, in wall paintings, in the landscape, in habits, in behaviours and in words we still see fragments of their lives. The last part of the history of my foreparents is described in the book Wanderings – The History of the Jews [1] by Chaim Potok. As far as I am aware, around 2500 BC my foreparents moved from Mesopotamia to their “Promised Land”. After a brief period in Egypt, they turned back to Jerusalem. Around 600 BC, the Babylonian King ordered to destroy Jerusalem. My foreparents were exiled as prisoners of war to Babylon – the world city with the hanging gardens, where they were treated surprisingly well. A part of my family remained in that city, but around 500 BC my foreparents moved back to Jerusalem – after the destruction Jerusalem was a place where the sheep grazed. Until recently, these old family ties with Babylon continued to exist: we have helped and advised each other through the ages.

[2]

[3]

After the fall and destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans around 70 AD – only the Western Wall of the temple remained – my ancestors moved away to Europe.

[4]

Probably until the Crusades they were involved in international trade. At the beginning of the Crusades they have established themselves in Islamic Cordoba. Around the year 1000 AD, Cordoba was a city with more than half a million inhabitants. It was an important financial, commercial and cultural centre of the world and its library contained 400,000 books [5]. They probably were writers and bookkeepers.

In 1236 AD the Spanish King took possession of Cordoba: this was a downturn for my forefathers. They tried to escape persecution by converting themselves to the Catholic faith. This was to no avail, because the persecution was severe against converted Catholics – former Jews and Muslims – who secretly practised their traditional faith.

Finally, around 1500 AD my ancestors moved to the Baltic region in Northern Germany, Poland and Lithuania. They became traders.

A few years after the retreat of Napoleon from Russia, my ancestors moved to the centre of Germany. My mother’s family established themselves in Frankfurt am Main. The family of my father lived in several German cities. In 1927, my mother met my father when he studied at the University in Frankfurt am Main. Erich Fromm [6] was a distant acquaintance from the university. We will encounter his books [6] on our Odyssey. In the beginning of 1933 my parents married. In that same year another regime was established in Germany: Erich Fromm first left to Geneva and afterwards to the United States, and my parents moved to Amsterdam”, you say.

“Little is known of the history of my foreparents”, I say.

“That may be a blessing; many stories end with the words – and they lived happily ever after”, you say.

In the following post we continue with a description of the beginning of your life.


[1] Potok, Chaim, Omzwervingen – De Geschiedenis van het Joodse Volk. ‘s-Gravenhage: BZZTôH 1999

[4] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

[5] Sources: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%B3rdoba_(Spanje) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordoba,_Andalusia

[6] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erich_Fromm

[7] Fromm, Erich, Escape from Freedom. New York: Rinehart & Co, 1941

Fromm, Erich, The Forgotten Language. New York: Rinehart & Co, 1951

Fromm, Erich, The Sane Society (1955)

Fromm, Erich, The Art of Loving (1956)


– “Who are you – Part 1″ ready for download –

– Please, see page: “Who are you – Part 1”