4 more days til kiruna! Not even that actually since today is already pretty much gone and half a day is just time difference. I am really trying to take this 'live like a hobo' to it's limit by now since I have roughly 150 SEK to spend per day. Quite a lot when you're living somewhere, but when that is supposed to include accommodation, eating out since you don't spend much time in a kitchen, bus fares etc etc... It kinda adds up. For example: for the past couple of days, I've lived mostly of pizza slices and hotdogs for 1 or 2 bucks. Every other day, I can afford a "proper" meal, eg McD. The main "vice" or unnecessary expenditure comes from Starbucks actually. A small cup of black coffee costs about twice as much as at McD but instead of screaming kids and greasy tables, I can actually sit down and enjoy it and read a book for easily an hour when I feel contented with the day or just don't have anymore to spend that day.
Admission prices also makes up a lot of the daily budget. But I found that one "real" meal and then something like a bagel on the evening can keep my upright for a day, if I don't walk around all too much.
Worth it though, I sort of knew this moment would come eventually when I spontaneous-booked a skydive and when I thought going to Chile from Buenos Aires is a good idea and when decided to get a diving license and on so many more occasions.
Would definitely not change any of those though. What I would change is punching the cab-driver in the face in Argentina. That I regret not doing... That, and checking the spam-filter for my bus ticket from buenos aires.
Have to say though, there is one thing really wrong with big cities. First thing that happens here in Nowhereville on the first day is a guy comes up when I just finished breakfast.
He doesn't ask for money, he doesn't walk around aimlessly with the stare all alcoholics share, he sits down, looks me in the eyes, tells me squarely that he just got out of jail and ask if I can give him some breakfast.
I'm a bit stumped at first, but hell, I just had a really big and quite good breakfast, so honestly, how am I supposed to just tell a guy who is really hungry to f*** off?
I don't have much, in fact I know that just that breakfast was more than half my days budget, but I know how it feels to go hungry and even just a cheap McD brekky goes a long way then. Plus... What bad could it possibly do to buy him a meal? I'm not that into drugs, but I don't think an egg and bacon muffin works to snort...
So I say sure, I'll give him some food, I can't deny a guy asking for help to fight hunger. First thing that happens after I buy him food for a mere 8 bucks, still quite a decent size meal, a lady says I should be careful and don't do that, that it will ruin me. For a short moment I sort of agree with her and almost regret giving him a bit of food. After all, I made that money, I am the one who worked for it and should be the one to enjoy them.
Then I snap back to reality: what the f***? Are people really that jaded, that callous? "This is my money, I'm not sharing it. I dont give a f*** if you're starving, I have money, you don't". No, f*** that, if I ever ran out of luck and didn't have any money, any place to go and all the hope I had was the people around me, I would really hope that they could also see themselves in my situation and be able to share some encouragement and some change.
I don't do it because I want that guy to give me money if he had some and I didn't, I do it because I can help him, simple as that.
I am quite certain that if I have enough money to offer a meal to someone, I who have lived on a couch for 3 nights, pretty much half of my clothes are a bit torn by now, my daily intake of food about a third of what it would usually consist of, then all the ladies walking around in high heels and the guys with 1000 dollar suits could find it in their budget to do the same.
And no, I did not write this as a self-promotion, I wrote it as a reflection of how screwed our reality really is.
I also know all the bull about me not having obligations in the same way, and they are living there so it would cost the a lot more to do it all the time. But say a five dollar meal, once a week, which would add up to about 20 $ per month... And I refuse to believe that even a seventh of the people live of the charity of others, so that would imply at least seven meals per week for homeless and starving.
Ok, many of them are boozers and junkies, and have themselves to blame, but some of them are actually just people s*** out of luck, and I'd prefer to see ten junkies live to one poor guy starve because of indifference of his peers.
This does not make me a socialist or a commie in the broader sense of politics. I still claim that a fair days pay should go to whoever earns it, not half of it to tax. I just claim that you can still help people out when they need it.