gypsies, roma, kosovo


A Rom child in Beograd - picture by Theo Fründt

I put the picture of a nameless child to illustrate this page. I don't think a photo of Rita exists. Or rather, the police probably have many, but I doubt whether anybody every took Rita's picture just for the pleasure of sharing a memory.  

Rita has always been free. She is a polio victim even more than Reska - both her legs have been destroyed. 

Twenty-two, abandoned as a child by her parents, beautiful and dirty, Rita let Reska offer her hospitality. All the anger built up in a lifetime turned into affection for this woman, so much like herself. Rita emptied her bag, spreading a large quantity of gold objects on the bed, and told Reska to take whatever she wanted.  

Rita, unable to stand, lived by stealing the wallets of bus passengers. She dreamed of being no longer alone, of having somebody to share her adventurous life; and she told Reska how life in gaol was not, after all, as unpleasant as it was supposed to be. She promised to find her someone to teach her how to steal. Reska looked at her silently, then said no. Rita still thinks of her, and for years she has been looking for the woman she wanted to share her life with. 

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