Down And Out In London

In Uncategorized on October 8, 2012 at 5:22 pm
LG office passes out groceries with Second Har...

LG office passes out groceries with Second Harvest Food Bank – Dec. 06 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Have you got any identification?” a smiling elderly woman asks, her eyebrows crinkling upwards as she continues to question the toothless,

bemused Arab man, who seemingly oblivious to the question, repeats his name and address over and over again.

Another volunteer from the Mission comes over to help, he speaks a little more forcefully, “Identification. Your passport?”

His efforts are met with a quizzical look from the man, who furrows his brows in confusion then repeats his name again. The tattooed volunteer throws his arms up in the air in an exasperated gesture of defiance before muttering under his breath, “I just don’t know why they keep doing this.” The subject of his frustration being either a case worker, or a social worker; in any case, he was referring to ‘the man’ rather than the man before him.

Sucking on a tea soaked bourbon biscuit whilst waiting for the Food Bank pick up, I remembered the confusion of moving to another country and the awful silences when I was pressed for an answer in the gaps between sentences of people jabbering at me with an alien tongue. I studied the man before showing him my own passport in the hope that a visual aid would help to trigger his understanding. His eyes brightened. A flash of light!

“Paszport”  he articulated slowly, as the Mission workers smiled and heaved a sigh of relief, only to realise that their sentiments were a little premature. “I lost my passport.”


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