I was away on holiday for the past ten days, enjoying sun, sea and lounging by the pool with a good book. Well, the sun came out eventually, the pool was freezing and the sea was full of jellyfish, but that didn’t stop us! I braved the sea and – finally – managed to clamber, however ungracefully, into the pool.
The hotel wasn’t anything remarkable, it was a normal family hotel with children’s entertainment and of course the one family that seems to take over the pool, splashes you while you are trying to lounge on a sun lounger and not look like the plastic slats are actually pretty uncomfortable. But it was nice, it was friendly, the pool was pretty and the staff are the type you remember for years.
I was sitting on the balcony one evening and looking at the gorgeous mountains, the sun set that turned the entire world pink and the children giggling in the pool when I noticed a man going through the bins. Just on the other side of the wall, just behind people lying by the pool, reading and messing around in a world of their own is a man searching through the bins. There were eight of the huge green bins with slide back lids and he went through each of them. I saw him pull a few things out, contemplate them and finally toss them into his bag.
Over the rest of my holiday I saw other men going through the bins and taking things away with them, it made me feel a little sour inside. While we were all enjoying a holiday and relaxing these men were so desperate they had to look through other people’s rubbish to sustain themselves.
My parents are hard working, they work long hours, five days a week and are generally so stressed when they come home from work they want to find somewhere else to go. I know that they worked hard for the holiday and that we don’t just throw away money, but the sight of those people still made me realise that we do often take things for granted.
We also got the train into Barcelona, it was 30 degrees, the air conditioning was like a little man was up in the vent blowing air at us, not good. On our journey a busker climbed onto the train, he had an accordion and a little portable speaker and started to play for the carriage. We gave him a tip, and a few others did, while some ignored him and glared out of the window.
We left the train and enjoyed a day seeing the sights of Barcelona. When we then got back onto the train home we didn’t expect to see him again, but we did. We had got the morning train at half past nine, and at eight o clock he was still going, smiling and playing his music for a few tips and a few glares.
I’m not oblivious to this kind of thing, I know it happens in every country, everywhere, all over the world. I’ve seen them in England, London, my home town. Any country I have ever visited you always notice the poor. It was just made a little more real for me when I saw the sun shining down on the holiday makers and the man in the shadows beyond the wall searching for a living in a bin.