Down and out in Warsaw Hills

As I’ve no doubt said before, when I’m standing outside the office having a smoke I encounter the full spectrum of local wildlife, most of whom want me to give them either a cigarette, a light or money. Thus far the nationalities have been people speaking either Polish or Russian so you can imagine my surprise last week when I met “Eddie”, Warsaw’s first English street wanderer.

Eddie was shortish, wiry, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and the tops of his shoes were about half way through their escape from the bottoms. He spoke English very quickly in such a way as to convince me that he had not been here long but also that he had issues. It took me a moment to tune in to Eddie’s rapid fire but once I did the message was familiar, “Can I have a cigarette?”.

I obliged and he continued his explanation that he was actually a successful buyer and seller of hotels who was going through a rough patch. In his line of work he was either broke or he was visiting Aston Martin salesmen, his words. It was obvious we were meeting during one of the broke moments. Otherwise he was quite vague about where he was from and exactly what he was up to in Warsaw. I think the story was he’s here trying to work up a few big hotel deals.

I wonder if he is the thin end of a wedge of street-walkers from the west or just an oddball?


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