‘I took Blonda to every country, on trains and buses, holding her all the time.’

Ioana-Tudor-greyIOANA TUDOR (34) ) is a performer and theater maker. When she was ten years old, she and her family fled Romania after Ceaușescu was overthrown.
 “In the refugee camp in Hungary I found a snail. I thought it was really pretty so I decided to keep it as a pet. When my parents decided it was time to move on, I took her with me to every country, on trains and buses, keeping her in a small container all the way to the Netherlands. I remember staying in a homeless shelter for several nights and being scared they’d steal her. She was just so beautiful and special.

I didn’t want to move all the time. Maybe I used the snail to send a message to my parents subconsciously: I want to stay in one place, damn it.

Upon arrival in Scheveningen we went for a walk right away. My brother stepped on her with his big gorilla feet. I was devastated at Blonda’s death. My father and I buried her in the dunes. My parents later told me Blonda’s death was a sign we should stay in the Netherlands.