Even as I sit here writing this there is a guy outside the cafe tapping his watch, falling over and seemingly very unwell. I’m not easily unnerved, but he makes me nervous.
Less than five minutes ago a man without a shirt on, apparently with his belongings in sacks perched on his wheelchair, pushed the chair backwards slowly up Lower Goat Lane.
I am watching another man with a hospital bracelet beg from a couple seated outside.
All this right here in our fine city. How bad do things have to get before a critical mass actually cares?
I realise it takes me back. Arriving in Kiev 20 years ago I was shocked to be confronted by begging amputees. As cannon fodder for the war in Afghanistan, Ukrainian society, systems and infrastructure simply wasn’t able or compassionate enough to provide these demobbed soldiers with an adequate life.
So well done us – we’re akin to Ukraine circa 1998!