99 Word Flash Fiction: Unwanted/Wanted

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

I’d wash my clothes at the seaside with the women. I’d learn to agitate them in the salty suds and beat them clean on the rocks. My clothes wouldn’t last long, but friendships would be forged with the women.

Emi no wannem woman blong whitefalla here. Sippos emi come long beach me falla no talk talk evri something long gossip, long pikannini, long man blong me falla. No me falla washem clothes blong woman. 

The tourists came and wanted the uncomplicated life of the local people. The local people agitated for televisions, money and the joys of western life.

I would love to live in a perfect world where we all got on in total harmony but it doesn’t happen, not in families, not in communities and not when cultures are so different from each other. Those barriers will break down over time and as we learn not to fear those that we don’t know nor understand. I wish that all countries were like Germany and Austria, opening their arms and welcoming those from war-torn Syria into their midst. I certainly wish that we were more welcoming. Our treatment of refugees simply makes me ashamed for the first time to be an Australian.

Migrants have given us wonderful additions to our own cultures. Chinese food is the one I often hear being given as evidence of our multi culturalism. We have learnt much more than how to cook other nationality”s food and will into the future as well. For some it is just a matter of being unwanted and wanting.

In response to Charli’s prompt: 

September 2, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that shows the interaction of a migrant culture on the place of migration. It can be the reverse, too such as a migrant picking up on local customs. The idea is to explore exchanges.

Respond by September 8, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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18 Responses to 99 Word Flash Fiction: Unwanted/Wanted

  1. Norah says:

    Your flash carries a strong and current message, almost like hanging out the dirty laundry. Your repeated use of the word “agitate” is very strong as is the way you show the differences between the different types of wanting.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. TanGental says:

    Fab Irene and I just love the pidgin. I saw a pidgin Shakespeare a few years ago. Didn’t take long to pick up the threads. Macbeth is much better I think. And your sentiments echo mine around the enfeebled British response.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My heart goes out to these victims of terrible wars in their own countries, and I wish every one of them safe haven.
    However, I find it ironic that some people find Germany and Austria to be models for international citizenship, given their abysmal behavior that instigated WWII and murdered so many innocent millions of people – all of them initially seeking refuge in other countries, as far from Germany and Austria as they could get. Most of them could get no further than Auschwitz or Sobibor. Hundreds of thousands of senior Jews today live in abject poverty because they’ve been unsuccessful in gaining financial restitution for their losses, Germany having made the process nearly impossible. Nor have the Germans returned thousands of artworks, jewels, financial assets, and other property stolen from the people whom they hounded and then murdered. If Germany and Austria are trying to atone for grievous sins, they have a long way to go. I’ll give a small nod to these two countries for helping the refugee Syrians, but have no desire to be “like them.” For me, that will be a thousand years away.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can understand your sentiments. That was just a horrific time. My grandmother never forgave the Japanese and when we had a Japanese exchange student live with us she wouldn’t even speak to us on the phone. A pity for us all as we all lost a year of loving together. For me, it is the past that we should learn from. The German people, who I’m sure are no different to us, I don’t blame and have forgiven, and are happy that they at least are being welcoming to the Syrian refugees. (I am happy to disagree with you – no hard feelings I hope.)


  4. Charli Mills says:

    It doesn’t take long for us to figure out how to talk to one another, especially when we share laundry and local gossip. It is ironic how different cultural groups can want what the other has. Best option is that we all share and get along. Nationalism can be a great thing until it excludes others. Great flash that shares life and reflects on wants.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Migration Reflections & Exchanges « Carrot Ranch Communications

  6. Annecdotist says:

    Strong stuff, Irene, great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ula says:

    Wonderful flash. You make some wonderful messages and points. I like Norah’s comparison with the dirty laundry.
    Unfortunately, although nationalism is about bringing people together, it is most often used to exclude. Whenever I start thinking of such matters, I start thinking in more anarchistic ways – get rid of all borders, nationalities, etc. We are more alike than different.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. noelleg44 says:

    Good job, Irene. The US has its waves on immigrants coming in over our Southern border.

    Liked by 1 person

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