Had the humbling experience today of going to the May cheese fair with a homeless man of my acquaintance. I’ve long tried to arrange a time when we could take some pictures and he suggested that I go to the fair with him and there would be lot of free food and a good atmosphere. I looked out of my window at 2.30pm and saw that he was standing outside the bike shop across the street as arranged.
He told me that he had lots of friends there and indeed many of the stall holders greeted him. He had been a radio and television repair man when he had been working but was now retired. His pension amounts to about 150 dollars per month and he has no fixed home as his sister threw him out. A neighbour in the street lets him sleep at her house but during the day he can be seen around Budapest, riding the trams and buses. He has a white stick as he is now partially sighted and has a little difficulty walking. He always carried his medicines with him in case of a malaise. I was startled when suddenly this man who has so little gave a coin to a street performer then gleefully walked about the fair exclaiming how great it all was. He knows the dates of all the fairs – from Easter to Christmas and makes sure he goes. I admired his strategy for seeking out the
bright side of life and for his lack of any sort of self pity.