My Third Soup Run
On my way to meet the team of volunteers I passed a few homeless people on the street. I thought to myself that I really should tell them about Mustard Tree giving out food. I kept walking past not saying anything, then I saw one guy sitting with a sign that said “hungry and homeless” so I approached him. I said, “excuse me” he looked up, “if you are hungry they are giving out food over by Picadilly Station in an hour” he said “oh yeah…I’ll go there…god bless love” I said, “no problem, I’ll see you there” and walked on.
I felt quite proud of myself.
It was a really busy night, there must have been about 50 people. I don’t know if they are helpful or just hungry but they all help to unload the tables and food from the van.
The guy I spoke to on the street was there, he said, “was it you who spoke to me earlier?” I said “oh yes, I’m glad you came” he said “cheers love, god bless, can I have some coffee?” He looked like a totally different person standing chatting, to before sitting on the ground. I noticed his trousers were tucked into his socks, were I come from that is not a good look.
A guy came over and was amazed by my hair, he couldn’t believe that he didn’t notice it the week before, it was tied up last week. He asked my name, I told him and asked his, he said Sally, I said “would you like some tea Sally?” On the outside I didn’t flutter, on the inside I was thinking Sally? Did I hear that right? It was only later on I heard him telling an older woman on our team, she didn’t act as casual as I did.” Sally?” she said, “Yeah, that’s my name? what?” he said, “ok” she replied, I was laughing in my head. Then he explained that he was a natural born he/she. This was a first for me. He opened his coat to prove it. He was correct. He had a very interesting story about how he was the director of his own IT company however they let him go due to his/her situation. He was very interested in my studies and gave me his mobile number if I ever needed his help with my project or with web programming. He also gave me the URL of a website he had built to prove that he wasn’t lying.
Every time I’m on the soup run I can’t get over the amount of sugar people put in their drinks. One guy said, “two teas, 3 sugars in each” Using quite large plastic spoons I did as he asked. Then he put 3 more sugars in. I said “wow I already did the sugars, he said, “doesn’t matter love.” That was 6 large plastic spoons of sugar in each small foam cup. That’s more sugar than tea. They put sugar in hot chocolate…I couldn’t believe it.
The young boy was back again. He loves his juice. He had had lots of juice already then he said, “can I have a cup of juice?” I said “sure” and poured the cup. He drank it in one go. “Can I have another?” “yep” same again. Not smiling he said, “can I get another?” I said “wow you really like your juice,” he said, “I havn’t drank all day have I?” it had been a hot day. I offered him another one. He said, “nah my throat is burning from the juice.”
A man asked if I was from Canada, I said ‘no Belfast.’ He was annoyed with himself for not getting it. He said, “what church do you go to?” I said, “I don’t go to a church over here.” I knew what he was asking about. He said, “oh are you… Christian or Catholic?” Again, I knew what he meant. I said, “I don’t really want to tell you that.” He said, “makes no difference to me man.” I thought, then why ask me?
Than some woman belted, “YOU CAN’T ASK SOMEONE FROM BELFAST THAT!!!” I appreciated her support, but not her subtlety or discretion on the subject.
One guy on our team recognised someone he had known for ten years. He didn’t realise his friend was back on the street. I think it upset him.
On the way home I bumped into Simon and Tone. Simon was really interested in the voluntary work I had been doing. Tone didn’t realise Manchester had a red light district.