Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Sometimes this city can be a really harsh place, a cruel mix of indifference and smugness. I was walking through the centre, down Gounari St when I saw a guy sitting down on the ledge above the Ancient Roman ruins, gently lean back, oblivious to everything but his latest fix. The problem was that where he had decided to crash out meant that at any moment he was in danger of falling back two metres onto the concrete surface below.I guess at least 50 people passed him by as he precariously balanced, unconscious but no one did a thing, not even the passing cop who tried his best to pretend he couldn't see what was happening until a little old lady pointed it out. Even then he just shrugged his shoulders and sauntered on, not as if it had anything to do with him now, is it?

Disgusted at them and more at myself for not helping I went back, tapped the guy on the shoulder and woke him up, he was incoherent and mumbled something about money which I couldn't understand. But at least he wasn't going to topple over and crack open his skull.

It's been a tough week and I'm sick of seeing the poverty and meaness of this place; the accident victims laying in the roads, the poor Rom kids being bathed in the open air on a cold Spring day and the police in shades swaggering around like they were extras in some crime feature.


toomanytribbles said...

sometimes your instincts get sucked into indifference. i hate that.

on saturday i returned home from the supermarket and proceeded to unload my car when a man came up to me and asked for bread. my knee jerk reaction was to say, 'no', which i did. as he walked away, i had second thoughts and called him back.

i asked him if he wanted bread or money. if he had answered money, i wouldn't have given any, to tell you the truth. but he replied, bread, which means he must have been really, really hungry. so i handed him one of the two loaves i'd just bought.

i must say i'm disappointed with my first reaction. i'm glad i reconsidered.

teacher dude said...

It annoyed me that someone was in imminent danger of hurting themselves and yet nobody could be bothered to do the decent thing. Just wake the guy up, that's all.