Sometimes he sits bend over with the face almost touching the ground. His left hand is resting on the ground with a plastic cup in his hand. Of course, with the purpose of asking people for money.
Other times he sits straight up just looking ahead. His head is covered by clothing only his face is visible. I must admit that this person might be androgynous (I really don’t know if this person is a female or male).
It’s just another day. Nothing special is happening. I am sitting at my usual coffee truck in Aix-en-Provence just outside the La Banque Postale drinking an espresso. Its located at the Fontaine de la Rotonde in downtown Aix.
Since Rotonde is located literally in downtown and the famous Cours Mirabeau logically there is always a big run of tourists, people of all kinds. I always arrive at the Rotonde and always leaving Aix from Rotonde on my way to/from Saint Paul Lez Durance where I was living. I know the streets around the Rotonde well and I see our sitting friend sometimes in front of the beautiful tourist office and other times close to the Av. Giuseppe Verdi and Place Francois Villon.
It seems that our guy has a territory. You can be sure to find the sitting person every day around here.
I and my coffee is just sitting an observing with a chest full of mixed feelings. I am not trying to say that I am better than the other person, but I normally put 1-2 euro in his up. But I never see anybody pay attention to this person. It could be that the person is just becoming a part of the street picture. I really don’t understand. What makes me most uncomfortable is what seems to be “I don’t care attitude. People are basically just passing the person and do not give just a few seconds of attention. I am afraid that soon these kinds of images are the beginning of a normal or “as good as it gets”.
I am not feeling good. I know how it feels to be in a very difficult situation, also closed to the poverty line, so my coffee suddenly doesn’t taste as good any more. It tastes more of indifference