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Moving to a Strange Land
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by Justin G
He was woken up by the screeching of the train as it pulled into a station. Jules reached up under the seat to get his luggage, but saw he wasn't there yet and set it down. The train was painted white with yellow seats. There were few windows and the train was very dim and shadowy. In his car, he saw many other Jews headed the same place he was, with the same intention. Soon darkness fell and the only light on the train came from cigarettes. He had brought a book to read, but could not see in that light, and slept.
He was awakened by the conductor's voice. "Last stop. Everybody off!"
Jules reluctantly got up and carried his suitcase off the train. When he got out of the station, he realized how hard a job he would have fitting in. As soon as he was settled in, he attempted to learn the language. By the next season, winter, he had all but mastered German. That winter he also used the little money he brought with him to buy a plot of land just outside Vienna. He wanted to start his own business. So he started making matches and selling them with a few hired hands. Soon the demand grew and he started a factory, which he helped design. He also designed some of the equipment. By spring, all he had to do was tell people about his brand, and that it was superior. He designed his own signs to catch people's eyes. Soon he was a wealthy man.
One day he was at a party at a friend's house. He was sitting, drinking a glass of wine when he saw when he saw a woman across the room. She was standing next to a man who was playing the piano. The pianist was playing a waltz. He strode over to her and asked her if she cared to dance.
"Yes," she replied.
So hand in hand they danced together late into the night, until the party broke up.
Flash forward ten years. Jules is married to the woman, Regina, and they have two children, Paul and Lily. They had a happy life, but Jules was getting nervous about Hitler. By 1933, the discriminating against Jews began and by 1935 he was frightened. So he started preparing to leave for London.
In 1938 he and his family left for London. But Jules being Jules, he could not just leave all that money in Austria and went back alone to get it. However, he used his shrewdness to develop a plan that was ingenious. He would escape through Italy. Mostly, he rode trains to get around, but in Rome, he would be caught if he stayed on a train. He had to walk for a mile or two around an Italian garrison in Rome that patrolled the area. So he threw a stone on the other side of the patrol to attract them and sprinted away.
He got to England and was reunited with his family and when World War II began soon after, he moved to New York. There he quickly learned English and then he put the little money he had in investments. His shrewdness in investing paid off and he spent the rest of his happy life quite well-off in a Park Avenue apartment with his family.