JANUARY 1988: Arrival in Switzerland. After fifteen years in Mozambique and fifteen years in Brazil it is not easy living in Europe. In the beginning the Swiss strike me as conservative, arrogant and secretive.

MARCH 1988: In my youthful arrogance I apply for an editorial post at a well-known newspaper.

MAY 1988: I come home crying and tell Mum how the others at school have hurt me again. Mum gets angry and says: "They've moved here especially to be close to you so they can annoy you more. They've got us surrounded." I say nothing because I know that’s not true.

JULY 1988: After an accident at work I sit in hotel director Hanspeter Graber's office in front of an IBM AT 02. I familiarize myself with the software and enter an identity crisis.

AUGUST 1988: A girl tells me I don't have proper parents. When I ask what she means by this, my mother answers: "What if that were true?" Nothing is as it seems.

SEPTEMBER 1988: At my first job in Switzerland my colleagues and bosses all speak to me in broken German: "You this do, you that look, you here work." They are not bad people, but it is insulting and makes me sad.

SEPTEMBER 1988: My father stayed in the West. I don't take the Communist youth initiation or Christian confirmation. I don't believe in anything.

OCTOBER 1988: My first regular boyfriend is very presentable. He is polite and wealthy. I finally pluck up the courage to ring my mother and tell her I am gay. She tells me she has known that for ages.