Project. 4 Days and 4 Nights as a homeless. Catalin Ciuculescu (part I)

4 days and 4 nights as a homeless.

 Catalin Ciuculescu


I read this. It’s… heartbreaking. I’ll start translating it for you all. One piece at a time.

“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak;” (1 Cor.9:22)

The original in Romanian can be found here –

the 9th of December, 2014

I wanted to find out how homeless live… Where are they living, what are they eating, where are they sleeping, how are they… Bir (Andrei Birtea) wanted to join me… We both had our hair cut short and kept our beards growing, to be more credible… My sister and my brother-in-law cut our hair by scissors, and the result was a real “piece of art”… We took no cell phone, no wallet, no ID documents, no money, only 5 RON (tr.n. – approximately $2) we got in the name of Jesus for what we intended to do… God was behind everything… Thanks to Him you can read this… He taught and showed me that life is not what I used to think it was… I lived unthinkable experiences… I’ll share them… It will be long, but for anyone who reads this, it will be useful… So here it goes…


I have just left… I said good-bye to Bir… He went right, I went left… I walk on the street and dare not to raise my head… When you’re poorly dressed, you feel inferior… I am a “homeless” for no more than a couple of minutes and I already feel it burdensome… I pass people, look into their eyes, they “scan” you from head to dirty sneakers… They lower their heads too or look away after seeing my appearance… I see one that “resembles” me… I passed him, but then I turned back… He had some “ironware” in some stroller… I asked him what’s he doing with those… Laughing, he said “What do you think? I sell them out.”… So I asked him if I could sell some too… “What the hell, why not…” he answered dryly and indignant… Even he looked my oddly… He told me where he finds them, where he takes them, how much they pay for a kilogram of iron, and how much you can earn at the end of a day… 40 RON, he said (tr.n. – about $13), then he inhaled deeply the smoke of a cigarette… “OK”, I said, and left…

Now I am staying in a graveyard… I looked at the photos of deceased and the words written above those images… One lady saw me… She looked into my eyes, lowered her head then… I passed a newly dug grave… On the pile of dirt lays a package of cigarettes on which it’s written “smoking can kill you”… I smile bitterly for myself and walk away, to the grave next to which I stay now… New as well… Deep… Dark… It seems colder inside the grave than it is up to the surface… The flesh is dust and turns to dust… The soul is supposed to go to heaven… Well, at least it was peaceful… I stroll away… I’m curious…

I am staying on some cold stairs… I took a coat out of the raffia bag and sat on it… A couple of minutes earlier I passed through a market… I was walking amidst all those exposed “goodies”… I left the market and met one “like me”… I passed him, and then I turned back… I asked him how he is… “Well, you know this and that.” Then, he too asked me how I was… “Well, walking around.”… He asked me where I hanged around… I told him here and there, outside… “Are you not cold?” he asked me. “It’s not that cold yet,” I said… I asked him if he’s having some underpants… He had… One pair… He asked me where I come from… Whether I have any brothers or sisters…

This boy smelled of “industrial pasting”, resulting from the liquid bronze he was inhaling from a bag… I asked him what he was eating… He said there were people who gave him food… He asked me why I don’t go in some other country… I told him I’d better die in my country that among strangers… “That’s true,” he said… And he added, that if I desired, we could go bathing on “Brancoveanu” (tr.n. – large boulevard in Bucharest)…

Out of the store in front of which we stayed came another one “like us” with a white bag in his hand… “Here, eat”… He handed it to me… “I’ll share it with him,” I told him… “You can have it all!” told me the boy that was inhaling bronze… “Eat, both of you, it’s chicken… It’s fine… It’s warm,” told us the well-doer… He left… I took the two pieces of chicken and shared them, then, I “instantly” started to cry… I met this one who gave me the food… Eleven years ago, I still remember it clearly… I was at the beginning of the 9th grade, in Resita, and I was changing trains in Caransebes… He was there, on a bench… He was rocking and had a strange twitch of his tongue… He was a homeless then too… I cried till I could no more… Then, long ago, I laughed of his twitching tongue, today I cried for the good he did to me… The one I was sharing the chicken asked me why I was crying… I told him “it’s only these like us who can do good”… He told me then not to cry anymore… I shook hands with him, said Good-Bye and left… God is good…

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