The privilege of documents | Day 101 of my 2023 Journal


When we left Rome, we walked from Campo di Fiori to the garage near the Pyramid.

We had briefly met a guy selling us the blue helicopters to shoot into the air with a rubber band, just having a short conversation the last evening at the piazza while saying goodbye to the family.

The guy had left Bangladesh eight years ago and has lived in Rome ever since without documents. He showed us pictures of his wife and son, whom he had left behind, and shared how he had managed to live in the city for so long, sending money back to the family.

It was heartbreaking, even more so, when we met him the next morning working a stand in the marketplace.

Obviously, there is something very wrong with this world.

We had good conversations arising from this and from our overwhelming time in Rome in general.

We talked about the little things. How what matters the most is how we handle whatever is, rather than what it is. How our impact is mostly who we touch and how we touch them. How the learning journey is about diving into our humanity, learning kindness and love.

I am not saying the injustices in the world can be fixed by mindset. I do very much believe we have to do something about it.

I am afraid the guy is working for someone, not making his own luck but being part of a huge underworld cooperation working with all of the tourists in Europe.

Five years on the roads, and I see the pattern. The marketplaces are worked by the same products and same people; more or less, the landmarks and main evening hangout places worked by the same group, selling the same products, just as the white blankets with sneakers and bags are worked by the same people.

People without documents. Good people without options.


Do I want to burn my passport and live without documents as a protest? No. I don’t. But I would like to see a better world arise from the ashes. If this guy is suffering, in the end, we are all suffering.

At the very least, we can stop turning a blind eye and make sure we care.

Love and light


Cecilie Conrad

# 101 of my 2023 writing challenge - Read them all here

One hundred | Day 100 of my 2023 Journal
Home Sweet Roadtrip | Day 102 of my 2023 Journal


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