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Shoplifting and Oranges

March 19, 2013
Oranges in the Rain, Thessaloniki 2013 by Sanne Kurz Kamera

I’m still amazed and surprised to see oranges on trees in spring, rather than at Christmas in supermarket shelves. Despite being often in Israel and other places where this happens every year: this wonder, that the trees are hanging full of oranges.

Oranges Grow on Trees. Sanne Kurz KameraMy mum is born in 1946. Pretty much exactly one year after the war finished and two years before the Deutsche Mark brought hope and prosperity to the perpetrators, the victims, the refugees from former German territories and their children.

My mum had a loving family, her father was a calm and quiet man who never raised his voice and let us grandkids braid his hair during his coffee breaks.

One single time in my life, my mum has been beaten up by her father. It was the day she saw for the first time in her life oranges. They lured at her in her village’s shop.

Oranges in the Rain, Thessaloniki 2013 by Sanne Kurz KameraShe could not resist, and took one, leaving the shop without leaving any Pfennigs or Deutsche Marks there.

I too remember the one time that I stole something as a child. It was not oranges, but a Bazooka Joe chewing gum for 30 Pfennig. It had a tattoo in the wrapper. I often tried to return the 30 Pfennig to Wamsgans, the local place that I shoplifted. They never took my money.

I’m not sure how often my mum thinks about the orange. I do remember the one-and-only thefts of my own kids. And I will definitely never forget my mum’s story and the oranges.

Orange Reflection. Photography by Sanne Kurz KameraAll images are taken in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece. It’s my first time here. I’m attending the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival with a movie I shot. Yesterday it was rainy and today it’s sunny. I’m pretty sure there’ll be more to come from my trip.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2013 12:39

    Big like for photos, you are so talented! I remember that Bazooka Joe too! It is interesting how we remember such thing forever isn’t it? Don’t remember I ever did that in store but often potatoes from my mum’s oven – it lefted burn mark on my left hand – as the souvenir that she caught me once :D

    • March 20, 2013 06:28

      Irena! You’re my conscience reminding me to write with each of your lovely articles I get in the mail. – Thank you for your lovely notes about my blog on International Women’s Day – I definitely owe you a evenly good reply and have not forgotten about it.
      Funny that you had the same Bazooka Joe in Slovenia when you were little. They stopped selling it here when I was a teenager, unfortunately.
      the oven-potato snatching story is very funny. Haha! I can see you as the little girl running off with burnt hands :)
      Thanks for sharing :)

      • March 20, 2013 09:43

        I’ll try not to disturb you too often ;)
        You don’t owe anything! Ok maybe you do… just keep posting a bit more often!! ;)
        Yes, we had Bazooka (and couple more like that) but they all disappeared here as well when no sugar chewing gums show op :(
        Sneaking almost baked potatoes from my mum own wasn’t good idea but I couldn’t help my self :) Hope your mum still like oranges, would be a shame if she wouldn’t.

  2. March 19, 2013 20:05

    This reminds me of a story my grandmother used to tell. When she arrived in the USA from Russia as a little girl, her uncle gave her a banana as a welcome gift. This was the first time she had seen a banana and ever since then bananas have been her favorite fruit.

    • March 20, 2013 06:23

      It’s amazing how these things have become completely normal for us people born and grown up in a prosperous post-war peaceful Europe or US. My husband is Russian – he’ll love this little lovely memory of your grandmother. I shall tell him!

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