I was waiting for a take away cappuccino. The cafe is on the water, the view is ridiculous. I had a little lemon polenta cake in an environmentally friendly cardboard box in one hand and my iPhone in the other.
I could tell the man next to me wanted to talk. ‘A homeless person could run in here, grab two of those meals (off the pass) and have a bloody good feed’. We’re a long way from any homeless people here…
‘I was in the city the other day, there’s so many homeless and we should be helping our own, stop this refugee nonsense with all the terrorism going on’ (um…we’ve been fairly insulated from terrorist acts so far, down under. and yes it’s the day after world refugee day – way to give hope to refugees!)
me: ‘How do you tell genuine refugees from terrorists? They need our help just as much as our own homeless.’
‘No, we just need to stop letting anyone in.’
me: (nice!) ‘Well…have you seen the images of what they’re escaping in Syria for example? We’re so lucky here, we have to help!’
coffee ready, conversation over, photograph view on way out…
still swirling in my head – you saw so many homeless, we should help our own first, and so what are you doing to help? did you speak to any, did you give them a bottle of water, a piece of fruit, did you ask if they have family somewhere, or a place in a shelter to sleep in that night?
a group of women meet at my house regularly and for 3 years now we’ve been knitting scarves and beanies which we pass on to local homelessness support organisations, and shelters…when I’m tucked up in bed on these cold winter nights I hope we’ve helped just a little xx