Reading backward

by | Jan 28, 2021 | challenges, Journalism, Memories, our life

I was born in exile and went to school without knowing my parents’ new country’s language. To further complicate things in the classroom, I had (and still have) a directionality problem and couldn’t tell my right from my left.

So for me, the letters p, b. d, q was impossible to distinguish. I used to mistake the letter T with the number 7 and so on. Nor could I write properly. I mean, if I held the pencil with my right hand, I usually did it normally. But if I used my left-hand, things get crazy: I could write effortlessly, but the result could only be read in a mirror.

There was no teacher dedicated to learning disabilities at my school, and I was quickly placed in the dumbest category of the class.

My parents had faith in me. I was determined to prove that I was not stupid or crazy, and eventually, I survived and became a newspaper reporter and writer.

My troubles came in handy once when I was investigating a political corruption scandal in my region.

I went to speak with the attorney for one of the plaintiffs. He had on his desk a document on top of a pile of papers. Out of habit, I began to read backward from my side and was surprised because it was an order to summon a “person protected by immunity for holding public office.” And he was accused of having a secret bank account in Switzerland linked to an already discovered corruption ring.

There was no name on the document, but with my knowledge of the case and the data specified, he could only be the region’s president. I got a copy of the document and went back to my newsroom with a track that became an exclusive, and that same night we called the president, he admitted everything and resigned.

FOWC: Category


  1. Librarylady

    Wow. Once again, a great story. I hope you have a journal of your life, or are maybe creating one with this blog. It sounds like you have had quite a life.

    • Olga Brajnović

      I don’t know. I guess there are reporters with more interesting stories to tell than me.


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