It was full of joy

Tereza RehakovastudentJan Patocka Grammar SchoolPrague
This is my only experience with Roms. It happened when I was less than five years old.
I lived in Smichov, where there were a lot of Roms. No Roms lived in our house, but the house across the road was full of them.
Like all children I was inquisitive, and one day I wanted to see new places. So I went to explore the house across the road.
I went up the stairs to the second floor and rang the bell. A Romany woman opened the door and asked me what I wanted. I don’t remember what answer I gave her, but she told me to come in.
I was surprised by what I saw.
I was used to a small family: a mom, a dad and children. But in that apartment there were so many people. Most of them were children: small and bigger. There was a lot of noise.
They showed me around their apartment,showed me the babies, and offered to give me something to eat. They were very kind.
(Later I made friends with one of the Romany girls who was my age. We were friends until my parents forbade me to play with her because she kept stealing my toys.)
That day they said good-bye to me and I went home.
What an experience for me!
I told my mom where I had been and shewasn’t very happy about it.
To me, the Romany family seemed poor and untidy – but it was full of joy.

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