Summer… which means either I have visitors or am visiting…
Though my eyes never are closed for what’s happening in this neighborhood, walking together with people who are not “settled” here, opens my eyes even more for those small things I perceive as quite normal.
- Going home from a squatting pub in the early sunday morning daylight, and note from the corner of my eye random people sleeping on abandoned, graffitied, couches on the sidewalk.
- During the foodsaving brunch, talk to one of the life-experienced people who really, really, really wants to help, but well, she’s slightly confused and already rubbed some people the wrong way. With a huge smile, she tells me her ex lives around here. Then looks away, tears filling her eyes.. she doesn’t miss the guy, but oh, how she misses the dogs… I hear one of the other foodsavers making a remark to his friend how so many people here can still laugh, still have a huge smile on their face, but if you hear their stories, you wonder how they can keep going.
- Sitting in front of the giveaway shop, trying to have a meeting, get pissed at and become quite rude to some drunk guy who starts laughing weirdly in a foreign language whenever we want to discuss something more seriously. Luckily he buggers off after one of the other giveaway people tells him to get lost in his own language.
- Waiting for one of my guests, and watch a naked guy making a bed by wrapping himself around a young tree growing out of the more than 1 meter tall weeds on a street corner.
- Say hello to one of the local too-many-dogs ladies sipping her beer on the steps of a gentrified-away – former second hand children’s toys, now empty for over one year – store, and my guest shaking his head, wondering if I know all the freaks here. Deeply inhale the smell of rotten garbage at the end of my street.
- Grab a drink in one the newer “steam punk” pubs my guest wanted to visit, and watch some local talent taking the open stage.
- Relocate to an artist “public living room” for vegan cake & coffee at midnight and see an escaped ferret run across the street looking for food (and my guest running after it with his phone to make a pic).
- Hear some really nice music from a balcony nearby, and can’t help but to get slightly pissed at that one annoying neighbor who called the cops on it.
- Having a chat in the park with a girl in her early twenties, asking for a cigarette, who obviously takes more care of her dog than of herself, and, after refusing her offer of some stronger liquor, we exchange life stories.. . A few days later, I distribute saved food, I meet her again, & she shyly asks if she can give me a hug, tells me she quit drinking, and thanks me for our talk. Only when she walks away I make the connection…