Our vendors: Klara Khanova Iqbal (Augustin, Vienna, Austria)

By Klara Khanova Iqbal, Augustin

This morning, the police came to the place where I was selling. As I had no registration form, I was made, along with my dog, to follow them. Everybody was looking and wondering: what has this lady done? Since I have been at this place for years, everyone knows me, they know that I am Klara. The police say: You cannot stay in Vienna if you do not have a registration form. If we come to perform a check again and you still don’t have it, you are going to be in trouble.

I have been selling Augustin for seven years now, near the U6 in Floridsdorf. I have many customers and they also enjoy chatting with me. I always come here to work. I love selling the magazine and I love Vienna, too.

Before, everything was alright. I was married but my husband died one and a half years ago. Now, I am on my own and I no longer have a flat. For the moment, I am staying at a friend’s house. I have four children, three of them live in England and I have a son who is living in Slovakia. I have 15 grandchildren. The youngest one is 6 months old, a little baby, and I love him so much. Whenever I see children here, I cannot help crying because I rarely see my grandchildren. If I want to play with them, I have to go to England. My children say: “If you come to England, you don’t have to go back to Vienna again, to sell the magazine. Stay here with us!” But I don’t like England at all, it is always raining there. I get sick. Normally, I stay there one or two weeks and then I want to urgently get to Vienna again.

Every month, I go home to Slovakia for one week. But I am mostly in Vienna. The selling of the magazine sometimes goes well, sometimes not. Last week, it went really badly; around this time [of year] it is never going well. However, today is the day that people get their pensions; therefore, it is going to be better this week, I think.

I have a dog, a big one, that is waiting outside now. For five years, I had another one but it died. When my son from Slovakia was here visiting, he bought a dog that was really small at that time. I knew that this dog would become big later on, and so I asked him: “Why are you buying a dog that you know will get really big with time?” He told me, “Mom, this is a sweet dog!” He went back to Slovakia and I stayed alone with the dog. His name is Rocky. Now, we’ve been together for a year and he is indeed a lovely dog. Many people like stroking him, whereas others give me donations for him.

Translated from German by Marsida Toska