Notebook :: Friday 4th March, 2011 :: Moses

Stranger: Buongiorno.

Me: Buongiorno.

Stranger: You speak English?

Me: Sí.

Stranger: Where are you from?

Me: England.

Stranger: I knew that. I saw your face. I knew that you were English.

Me: What can I do for you?

Stranger: You a tourist?

Me: No, I’m a writer. I’m travelling through.

Stranger: You a writer?

Me: Yeah. I’m a writer without any money.

Stranger: It’s not possible. You can’t be a writer and not have money.

Me: I didn’t say I was any good. Anyway, I write on the internet. Anyone can write on the internet.

Stranger: This is true. You are right, you are right.

Me: Thank you.

Stranger: I have a PhD in economics but there’s no work. I have a wife and two kids at home and I can’t find work. So I come here, walk the streets, ask people for money.

Me: Where’s home?

Stranger: Huh?

Me: You said you have a wife and two kids at home. Where’s home?

Stranger: Torino.

Me: Oh, right.

Stranger: I have two kids.

Me: I know. I’m happy for you.

Stranger: Why are you happy?

Me: Because you’ve got kids. That’s nice.

Stranger: Yeah, it’s nice, but it’s not nice that I can’t take care of them. I have to ask people for money. It’s…

Me: I know. I had to ask people for money recently. It’s embarrassing.

Stranger: It’s embarrassing. Yeah. Fuck.

Me: What’s your name?

Stranger: Moses.

Me: I’m Karl.

[We shake hands. I take some money out of my pocket. There is a two-euro coin and some smaller ones. I think about putting the two-euro coin back in my pocket but I don’t want to appear mean. Plus, I have it. I have two euros. Moses has two kids.]

Me: Here you go.

Moses: Thank you.

Me: But I take your photograph, OK?

[My camera is already round my neck. I am a tourist really.]

Moses: OK.

[I take his photograph.]

Moses: Let me see, let me see.

[I show Moses the photograph.]

 

 

Me: Ti piace?

Moses: It’s cool, it’s cool.

Me: OK. Good luck, Moses.

Moses: Goodbye.

[Moses moseys on down the road. I sit down and write. A writer writes. This blog post cost me nearly three euros. A snip.]

About the Author

I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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