This is the first cafe we ever went to in the Calais Jungle. I think it was the first one to ever exist but I can’t be sure. It was built by our lovely friend Osman (you can see him hiding right in the back of this pic). He was so young and had a mad story – he made the journey from Afghanistan pretty much completely on foot. He was travelling with a big group but got left behind in Bulgaria when he tripped in the forest in the middle of the night, and a stick pierced through his eye. He spent a few weeks in hospital in Sofia before continuing his journey. He was reunited with his friends in the Jungle.
Osman was entrepreneurial and resourceful. Every time we visited he proudly showed us the developments of the shelter he was building to make into a shop and restaurant. At night when his customers were gone he would sleep on this bench.
The food he cooked us was delicious. I always wondered how he managed it. Beans and lentils and fresh bread. And he ALWAYS refused to take any money from us. We had to insist, every time, that this was how a restaurant worked and force him to take it.
My brother Nils and I talk about meeting him in the latest episode of the podcast, and those early days in the Calais Jungle and how it all felt. The links are below if you’d like to hear more 👂💖
To listen on Apple Podcasts:
To listen on Spotify:
Also available of Google Podcasts and Stitcher – just type in ‘The Worldwide Tribe.’