The Food Truck

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Ömer’s Imbiss

The last months I made new friends and strengthened existing friendships. One who is close to my heart is Ömer. Since I met Ömer five months passed. We are friends now. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Whenever I have time I visit him.

Since decades his food truck is located in Aarau / Switzerland – diagonally opposite the public library in a street called “Graben”. Ömer has a heart of gold. He never trashes someone. We speak about all the world and his brother.

Sandmeier in Kölliken

The fried sausages he sells taste perfectly. He is modest. To receive a great deal of praise is not his business. “I always got very good meat and sausages from my supplier, the butchery Sandmeier in Kölliken.”

To find out his age is hardly possible. I have a guess: around 50 or 60 years. He smiles and shakes his head. “I am 80 years old. Being busy, keeps you young!”

Ömer's Imbiss Aarau

A couple of steps away is a board which is embedded in the ground. It says that Ömer and his family gave two trees as a donation to the city of Aarau

Ömer's Imbiss Baumspende

Ömer is a local celebrity. Different newspapers reported on several occasions about him. Even the website of Swiss Radio and Television cannot ignore him. Both in pleasant images and recognising texts he is perpetuated in the media.
His statements and the articles about him – more of them are posted in his food truck – show me that I am right in my judgement. There seems to be more “Swissness” in him than in many other inhabitants who were born in Switzerland. Well, obviously there exist human beings who behave good to you as long as they have personal profit from it and others seem to be born with humanity.

Here a few links to articles he is mentioned in.

Schweizer Fernsehen: Auf den Spuren des «Bestatters» in Aarau

Aargauer Zeitung: Zu diesen Schweizern sagte damals niemand Nein

Oltner Tagblatt: Ömer schenkt «seiner» Stadt Aarau zwei Platanen

But how did I met Ömer?

Well, at the beginning of this year my personal situation was really worse. While ponderung on how to make money those who are checking the waste baskets on train stations came to my mind.

Obviously they were looking for aluminium cans. To make money with valuable scrap? Why not? I checked the worth of aluminium in the world wide web. One kilo was good enough for 1.70 CHF. How many cans were necessary to have one kilo? Well there are small ones and bigger ones. The 0.5 litre cans had about 16 grams. To have one kilo I needed about 60 cans. Well, but I had to consider that most of the cans I found near the highways and the stations were small ones. And where to sell them? No, there had to be another way to gain money.

Second try with books

I took my travelling bag with me and went to Safenwil on foot. I rang at the doors and all the persons I met were really kind. I asked for books they no longer needed and shortly after I started 13 books were in my travelling bag.

It was afternoon and a strong wind played with the powder snow. I walked to Aarau. Near the shop called “Interdiscount” I occupied a square metre on the sidewalk. I placed the sheet of paper I had prepared at home in front of me on the ground. It said in big letters: 1 BOOK 1 CHF.

Soon it became dark. Busses stopped and left, people got off them and walked by me and my books without noticing. A young woman asked some questions about my situation. She mentioned her name. I forgot it. Perhaps I could remember it if she would have bought one of the books.

Shortly after her a older person came from the right hand side. He pointed to the food truck there and asked me if I would like to eat something. I denied. Later I found out that his name was Ömer. But I decided to go and meet him and buy some of his food as soon as I had made some money. This day I sold not one book. Sad I took the bag with the 13 books and went back to Kölliken.

What I found out this evening: There are people who help you. Nobody buys a book for 1 CHF.

My dear readers. I hope that the day you are in trouble you meet a person like Ömer.

Kind Regards

Hans-Jürgen John