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On another occasion I turned up dressed up with high heels, when the local plumber held “Open house – everybody welcome” – to great surprise and amusement of the other guests, who actually knew the man.

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A ghetto in Aalborg became the first home for my then 11-year old daughter, 7-year old son and myself. Living there was ghastly, and I asked them to attend Salling Efterskole, where I picked them up when I had finished at the language centre. It was my own choice to move to Løgstør, even if it did cost 840 kr. for a monthly bus pass. A wise decision, because we were the only foreigners in town, and the
locals quickly got to know me and my children.

I was 44, a qualified lawyer, and I had always been accustomed to managing on my own. The language was difficult, so I had to use a lot of effort to understand it and the culture as well. Once I was pretty offended when my bank advisor told me to open up a budget account, which would remind me of my mortgage payments due
every three months. Honestly, what did he think of me? That I had no control of my own economy?

On another occasion I turned up dressed up with high heels, when the local plumber held “Open house – everybody welcome” – to great surprise and amusement of the other guests, who actually knew the man.

Mrs. Simonsen from Løgstør became my first close friend here in Denmark. She took me to the Housewives Association. I didn’t understand a word, but before I could count to three, I was elected a deputy member. Later I also became chairman of the board. I have washed stairs, had my own ice cream shop, worked for the tax department, at a post office and a lot of other things. I have worked
as interpreter and still do. I travel whenever possible and meet with Iranian colleagues in Italy, France, Germany and the UK.

I have a
good life, but when I am under pressure, I walk along the dikes in Fladbro or go to Sct. Clemens Church with the fantastic views across everywhere. It gives me peace.

Mali Ahsani / 70 / female / divorced / children / lawyer / Randers / from Iran / came to Denmark in 1992 / residence permit in 1992