Project. 4 Days and 4 Nights as a Homeless. Catalin Ciuculescu. Part 2

Originally written in Romanian, here –

Catalin Ciuculescu

source –

This is part 2.


After it got dark, I met Bir… We ate the chicken-piece I received during the day… We went around the campus where we met some easy clothed boys, inhaling from some silver colored bags… We sat on a cement block and we watched TV, through the large window of a food restaurant… One of the bronze “inhaling” boys watched the game as well… He looked oddly at us, we weren’t from around… We asked him if he was cold… “Me? No!” and turned back to the TV-game… It was too cold, so we went for a walk to warm up…

When you live on the streets, time passes slowly… There is no reason for you to hurry up, there is no one waiting for you… Time seems to behave more gently with this kind of people, but to me, it seemed more like a punishment… I couldn’t wait for time to pass…

We went to the railway station… We saw people seeking a shelter here through the years… We didn’t eat anything since the beginning of all this, except that piece of chicken… We bought a loaf of bread… We paid 2.3 RON (tr.n. about 0.75 cents) for a not so large loaf… We got out of the store and ran into one “of ours”… He stank terribly, even worse when he talked… He was an alcoholic… We went back, telling him we bought a loaf of bread… We asked him if he wanted a piece of bread… He seemed amazed of us, and asked “And what will the two of you eat?” We told him we will manage with that piece of bread. So he said “Give me some of that bread, come on! Wait! … And he slid his hand in the bag, took some soft cheese and he tried to rip the package with his nail… “I received it too,” he said.  He couldn’t rip it off… I shook his hand and left… I ate that bread with such appetite…

We searched for a place to sleep… The waiting room was somewhat warmer… Around 1 a.m. two people showed up from the railway station “safeguarding” asking everyone about their train tickets. Who had none, had to leave… We had no ticket and we left… We went to the underground passage and slept some on the floor, but it was too cold… We got  up and found some out-of-use railcars… Someone in the station yelled at us “Hey, what are you doing there? Get lost!”… We continued our searches in spite of what he asked from us… All railcars had bolts… We left a New Testament in the bag of a homeless who slept deeply in the coldness, under the sky… We turned at the passage, and endured the coldness all over… Around 5 a.m. we went back in the waiting room. No one cleared us out this time…

I opened my eyes and saw a young man in the waiting room… He was reading… The Bible… He passed 6 times by me, and not even once he dared not to look me in the eyes… I wondered “what is the good of it?” It looked terribly wrong from the “outside” I felt like going over to him and asking him if he understood anything of what he read, but I was way too ashamed to do that… Ashamed of him, of all the other people in the room, but even more, I was ashamed of myself… I was not any better than him, having my thoughts turned to God, I learned from what I saw…

I wouldn’t have guessed it would be so hard to live on the streets… The cold turns your eyes red, and changes your voice… I didn’t need much to understand that, in the mean time, the sky lightened up… It was a hard day… Very hard… Too hard… Bir couldn’t stand it anymore, so he went home… We said good-bye…

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