Eight years I have been in Germany, and three years in the accommodation here. Before that I was first in Eisenhüttenstadt and then for many years in another town in Teltow-Fläming. I was born in 1978 in Punjab in Pakistan. For ten years I went to school, then I worked as a kitchen help in a bakery and a restaurant and then as a delivery man for a pharmacy. I am married and have two children, a daughter of 9 and a son of 12. Since I left Pakistan, I have not seen them. Eight years is a long time. However, I do speak to them on WhatsApp every now and then.

In Pakistan it was unsafe and there was no work so I decided to come to Germany. First I went to Iran, then Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary and then to Germany. The trip took a total of two or three months, I can’t remember exactly. The plan was that eventually my wife and children would also come over. We would have a better future here. I would have work and my children would be able to attend a good school.

I applied for asylum but this application was not granted. So, I appealed. During the time the asylum procedure was running, I was able to work. I was a kitchen help in a bakery for a year and a half again. It was hard work, but the pay was much better than in Pakistan. I went to German lessons for a month. I speak a little German now (about A2 level – HTB), because I listened a lot to people speaking German among themselves.

Also my appeal in the asylum procedure was not granted and since then I have a “Duldung”, meaning deportation has been postponed. However, I am not allowed to work or go to school. This has been going on for four years now. For four years I have been doing almost nothing. I sleep, I cook, I eat, I do some undeclared work, I go for a little walk and I watch You Tube. I used to play cricket with friends before, but since I’ve been here, I don’t do that either.

By the way, the food in Pakistan is different than in Germany. We cook different things. I like chicken with rice the most.

I am “ausreisepflichtig” (obliged to leave the country), but cannot travel because I have no papers. I have asked the embassy of Pakistan for a passport, and I am now waiting for that. When I have a passport, I would be able to travel and to leave the country. But if I have papers, I might also be able to work again.

I don’t have a lawyer, but the Diakonie is advising me. They don’t see a solution either. I have to wait. Maybe things will change, for example a war will come, and then I might get a permit.

I absolutely want to stay here. In Germany everything is good, much better at least than in Pakistan. It is peaceful. The food and drink are good. One can work here. When people fight, you can call the police and they actually come. In Pakistan the police only come when someone has died. I need a work permit and then I can work again. I don’t have any papers. I want to work and then bring my children over. I have nothing in Pakistan. My father and mother are dead. My sister too.

Here in the shelter, everything is filthy. The kitchen, the toilets, the bathrooms, everything is dirty. There are pests crawling around. Nobody cleans properly. Especially on the weekends, when the chief is not here, it is a mess here. I don’t have problems with other people, not in the camp and not outside with German people. Life is ok here. I need a working permit. People from Pakistan and Bangladesh come here to work. That is the most important thing.

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