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Before I went to Europe, I had a very positive picture all together about Europeans. I knew Europeans as rich, loving, caring, and hospitable people like those who used to come to my country. However, after reaching Europe I was shocked to find that there are those who live under very poor conditions, beggers, drunkards, and drug addicts among others. I was really surprised to find some white people sleeping on streets and homeless houses similar to school dormitories because they cannot afford to pay rent.
Most whites that could frequent such sleeping places were those who had lost meaning for life and only looking for something to eat and drink. I used to see some of them on Amsterdam streets putting on very dirty clothes and begging for money from by passers. With their uncut beards and dirty long hair they were really looking ugly. Sometimes you could find them in parks in groups drinking themselves silly and smoking uncontrollably. Others could go on streets to sing for by passers so as to give them some coins.
One day I visited my Dutch friend living in the middle of the city. Paul was an artists living together with other five people in five-storied apartment in the middle of the city Amsterdam. It was a weekend when I visited him and entered the house; I couldn’t believe my eyes on what I saw. It was a two roomed house, with a bed, a reading table, cooking space and the rest were boxes full of un sorted used old items raging from clothes, cups, old TV sets, radios, microwaves, fridges, saucepans to mention a few.
His house was a real mess. When I asked him why all that stuff in his house was he said that he picks them on the streets. “ You know, we have garbage days every week and some rich people throw nice things on the streets. When I see them I pick them and bring them to my house, in fact I never buy things because I don’t have the money, I instead pick them from the streets” he said. Paul’s house was full to capacity and he was only left with a small space for sleeping, siting and cooking. “I am not the only one picking things from the streets even my neighbor’s. Most of the things they use were picked from streets as well” he explained. I couldn’t believe that some white people were not different from some immigrants who are surviving by picking up old items from the streets.
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