The mountains looked both calming and sharp, piercing against the clear, blue sky. Yesterday frustration ruled, yet today, cycling along the Salzach and stretching out upon its heather-covered banks, I seemed to let go of all that discontent-for a moment.
Nervous about my bicycle`s safety--even though safely locked--I kept checking instead of fully relaxing into this early summery evening. I casually wondered why such anxiety still came back to torment when only a few moments ago, it seemed to blissfully disappear.
"Können sie mehr helfen"? a dark figure, all dressed in black with a scarf wrapped tightly around his throat blocked my sun and stood over me. This silhouetted figure sat next to me pointing with his pen to some papers that had been roughly gathered together, I looked to see a page of nervously written German text in blue biro. Realising his request I replied in broken German that he would probably have to help me and so began a mini-discussion about how hard it is to integrate into Austrian Society despite our best efforts. He was from Portugal and had been transferred to Salzburg to play football for Red Bull and yet he, off pitch, had felt unwelcome. Talking about the history of Salzburg as perhaps one of the reasons, seemed to aggravate him further, so we switched to less fraught topics, such as football and dance. Promoting a piece by Zoe Knights where dancers have collaborated with footballers from the Red Bull Academy, I suggested that football like culture are vehicles for integration and that the access points he is looking for, may already be there. However, I could feel his frustration.
Luckily SEAD`s director, Susan Quinn used her influence over a mass of dance students at her school to call an emergency meeting and immediately close the school. Through miserable drisel, over a hundred students and faculty marched in unison to protest against Zak`s captivity. A few days later he was released and is now able to once again participate in dance classes at SEAD and other projects that are fully contributing socially, culturally and economically to Austria.