My name is Dino

“My name is ‘Dino’. Seriously! Since no one believes me when I first meet them, I need to pull out my ID every time. My parents chose my name on the spur of the moment. I think it’s special. Especially because I regularly get little dinosaur gifts from my friends like pins, hand puppets and most recently one of my friends even handcrafted an origami dinosaur for me.”

How to choose a job

“I definitely wanted to a job in social services because I want to help, I want to do good things. But I wasn’t sure which sector would suit me the most, so I tried out at different places for a few days each. In the end I decided to work with disabled people. I found it too hectic in the hospital and kindergarten. In the home for the elderly people I missed the objective and purpose. What I like the most now is that I can teach the people I assist, so many things.”

Chinese as 9th Language

“I speak a total of nine languages. Two years ago I started learning Chinese after I lost an internship opportunity in China. The company withdrew my contract at the last minute because they were worried I would struggle since I did not speak the language; of all the things! This situation wounded me so much that for the last three semesters I have been learning Chinese.”

Cooled off relationship

“I gave my best at work to be able to provide my family with a sense of security above all else, but the harder I tried, the worse things went at home. The relationship with my wife cooled off, but instead of talking about our needs openly, we held our discussions like business meetings. I thought it was just a phase, which is why the break up was so unexpected for me. Since then I see my two kids only every other week.”

A big big change

“I’m the oldest of six siblings. Living with such a big family including a dog is more than just lively and exciting. There’s always something going on at home and in my whole life I’ve never had the feeling of being alone. But I’ll be moving into my own apartment soon because of my apprenticeship. To close the door and to be on my own, like really on my own, that’ll be a big change for me.”

Space of the beloved

“During our childhood my little brother and I were inseparable, but when we were teenagers he started doing his own thing. At the same time I met a boy who became my first boyfriend. That was 38 years ago. Today I’m happily married to this ‘boy’. My brother has, in the meantime, moved away. We have little contact now. Sometimes, I think that someone I loved made space in my life, so I could love someone else.”

Eiffel Tower proposal

“Our long distance relationship meant that we only met every other weekend. Either I visited him or he came to see me in Paris. One evening he surprised me with dinner at the Eiffel tower restaurant. While eating he asked me to close my eyes for a moment. When I opened them he was on his knee with a ring in his hand. We live together now. Here. Paris is the city of love but I left it for mine.”