Friday, January 30, 2015

Legal Alien

As I was walking back from lunch, I was stopped in my tracks by a gentleman.  He asked me if I could help him, and had 50p to spare. I usually try and avoid these confrontations, and end up walking away with an awkward nod... but this man held an expression so full of hope and anticipation, and I didn't think twice before fishing out the 50p from my bag.

He told me that he was living in the streets for the past month or so. He had moved to London from another country and since then it had been a struggle. 

I don't know, maybe I could empathise with him in some way.  As an immigrant here today, I find myself feeling the same helplessness. It's not the struggle for food and shelter kind of helplessness, but it the feeling of 'where will I be in the next six months'.

London is cold, and not just this winter. 

It's not a city where jobs are accessible to foreigners.

It's not a city where they have the luxury to shop, bargain or negotiate for the 'dream' position.

To an immigrant, this city is a drug, an addiction, and they will do... close to anything to stay afloat, survive and hope to catch a lucky break, in a few months.... a few years.

I hope the man I met today, finds a home, finds some place warm, and is one of the lucky ones to catch that break.