She had a hard time getting use to the room. Everyone did. There was something off putting about it. Was it the uninviting dull color of the windowless room? She had no recollection of looking out a window. Or was it the cracked lines on the wall and the presence of a dead cockroach every now and then? It was all extremely unsettling.
Still in shock after the previous night they wearily made their way to have their first meal in the new environment. The little girl’s observation of seeing many buildings was true. In all directions, there were buildings of four to six floors.
It didn’t look as bad as the night before where the orange lights played against the dark, casting a shadow that was so unwelcoming. But still even in daylight, the wire mesh that circled the compound was a constant reminder that they were trapped. There was enough space to roam about but no matter which direction you went, there would be a dead end.
Men, women, and children, of all ages walked lifelessly out of the buildings. Everyone was walking towards one direction.
The family watched and observed and eventually followed the crowd that led them to a hall. They witnessed each person take a tray, a fork and a spoon, before lining up. It was systematic. It felt unusual and unlike any other canteen setting. There was talk, but no laughter. There was chatter, but no happiness in the voices and conversations.
Noticing that the family of four was in a complete daze, a middle-eastern man walked over to introduce himself. The little girl was particularly intrigued by the amount of hair growing on the man’s face. It was the only thing she could remember of the man. The fact that he was hairy and that he was probably the first stranger the family made conversation with.