Page 111 - Zumtobel Group Geschaeftsbericht 2013-14 EN

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she took part in orienteering and pistol shooting competitions. She grew quite
proficient, and could have gone far if she hadn’t been a woman. Nobody was as straight
a shooter as Helny.
“And I got married then, too. Such wretchedness. But no children.”
She falls silent for a moment.
“I didn’t want any. As it turned out, I ended up actively opposed to it.”
Then her travels began. Helny dragged her husband along, out into the world. They
went to Africa, India, China, Japan, Vietnam – anywhere you can imagine. The whole
time, she was looking for something.
“I always wanted to go places that were … let’s say, original. By which I mean
primitive. Where things were the way they had always been, and they didn’t have
electricity and cars and running water. Places that civilisation hadn’t entirely
had its way with. Places that reminded me of the shieling, back home in Lima when
I was a child”.
“I never wanted to go to America, on the other hand. I was never really interested.
But I saw so many other things. I saw dirty people and clean people. Grand houses
and ramshackle huts.”
On one trip Helny and her husband contracted a mysterious infection. They
consulted a doctor when they got home. Helny recovered, but her husband died at
just 64. She was alone in the house. She retired and stopped travelling. As for
friends, she didn’t have any.
“I’ve tried to avoid making friends. So often it ends badly. Early on, I realized
that a person who was your friend one day could turn into an enemy the next.”
Today, Helny Zingmark has been a widow and a pensioner for thirty-seven years.
As long as her eyes held out, she read travel books. In the end, municipal services
decided it was no longer appropriate for her to live alone. And now she’s here.
Sunshine streams through the Venetian blinds, and dust motes dance in the light.
The clock tick-tocks monotonously. A nurse comes with lunch.
“I hate it here,” she says. “It’s such a bore.”
Helny Zingmark
65°50’0”N, 21°43’0”E