Geschichten aus Kalifornien

Ein Dichter, der mir im Café ein Gedicht vorliest. Eine Schülerin, die mir erzählt, wie sie mit acht Jahren von Schleusern in Mexiko festgehalten wurde. Palmwedel, die nach dem Wintersturm unsere Straßen blockieren. Eine nächtliche Fahrt mit dem Bus durch Los Angeles.

Von Begegnungen und Beobachtungen wie diesen kann ich in meiner journalistischen Arbeit selten erzählen. Das finde ich schade. Deshalb habe ich dieses Tagebuch angefangen.

Ramón, San Diego, CA

"It is like having chocolate right in front of you and not being allowed to eat it."

Ramon and wife

Ramón came to the United States from Michoácan, Mexico 20 years ago. He left his family behind to work, to give his wife and kids back home a roof over their heads, a good education, shoes and clothes to wear. The first three years it was easy for him to cross the border back and forth to visit. Stricter controls made it too dangerous and too expensive. He stopped the crossings and did not see his family for 17 years.

Until he came to friendship park at the US-Mexican border. I saw him there standing at the fence, looking through the tight mesh, speaking softly with his wife, then his daughters who brought husbands he never met and children he never saw. "The tears speak for themselves," daughter Priscilla said.

The Flower Lady, del Rey, L.A.

She stands there like a human statue for grace, strength, beauty and perseverance every weekend. Morning until dusk. Rain or sun. Heat or cold. Living and breathing, but not moving. Not when I wait for the light to change or drive by. Faded red visor, light jacket over a colorful skirt, pink crocs sandals, a bouquet of flowers in her hand and more bouquets in a basket next to her. White lilies mixed with bright red flowers. Always white lilies.  

Her spot is at the end of a freeway ramp. Exhaust fumes, speeding cars and customers in a hurry. I wonder when she eats and drinks. ...

Whose Streets? Downtown Los Angeles, CA

DemoWall

Standing among thousands of protesters at the Women's March in Downtown LA, I was most happy about seeing so many young faces around me. Young women were climbing fences, bus shelters and flower pots to make their signs seen and voices heard. Their shouts are loud. Their signs are funny and on point. OK, some were gross - like the close up of