The Lifeguard of Groningen


By Migle Vaisnoraite

Swimming in the sea, I was never afraid of it because I knew that David Hasselhoff and his Baywatch team will be there, ready, forever. The city of Groningen doesn’t have the beach. But it has a sea of bars filled with softer or stronger alcoholic liquids. It also has its own lifeguard – Husne who is working in a small kebab restaurant in the city center. It is safety shore for many in Groningen.

“My family doesn’t like that I have to work during weekends and nights. But I have to work. I have to make money”, says Husne. Five days a week he leaves his family at home and takes care of those in need of kebab. However, before measuring the portions of meat and salad he serves to customers, he was measuring the size of the belly where the kebab finds its final resting place. Husne used to be a tailor, a job cleaner and easier than the one he holds now. 15 years ago he left Turkey, his home country, and tailoring and moved to the Netherlands.  He moved for love, love for a woman… and for hungry people as well. Even though, sometimes Groningen’s swimmers upset Husne by making trouble in his small restaurant, he likes his job: “When people are happy, I am happy.”

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