Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Today is pension payday for the senior citizens of our country. That means two things. One: my dad descends from the hill and does his routine - goes to the doctor to get the medication, the pharmacy and then the bank. He withdraws all his money, buys cigarettes for mum, a credit phone card and burek. Burek is this ridiculously greasy thing made of gum-like dough, folded tenfold (sic) and filled with oil and minced meat or cottage cheese. It's a shiptar dish, a Turkish thing and we tend to say 'You haven't for burek!' as mobsters would say 'Forget about it!' To eat a slice mens to be really queasy for an hour and then full for a week.
           Dad then drives away, usually to get the car repaired AGAIN. But car has the tendency to work just fine by the time he gets it into the shop.
           Two - is Piček has to spend as long in the base as it takes the last postman to return from the field. Some people get their pensions via mail and sometimes a postman is new and nervous and they take longer to make sure they've done everything correctly. Reeeeeaaally easy to fuck up and lose money, or get cheated or clumsy when you know you carry with you something that would fuck up your salary for a year.  I had this old lady that would always nag how she's late for her plane to Belgium (perish the thought she's get herself an ATM card), but I was only allowed to give money to her daughter. There was always a lot of arguing there, EVERY time. Thing was, the old lady had a tendency to steak from postmen - she'd hide a bill into her sleeve while counting, thus accusing him of giving her too little. Since at first you think 'sure, it's possible I miscounted in a hurry' - though we had to count twice in front of the costumer slowly, but after a few takes, the postmen figured it out and she was taken off the list and her daughter had to apply for surrogacy.) There's a limit on hom much they can carry at the time, so as to make sure they're not too targeted by muggers, meaning they need to return to base twice as much as they would for mail. It can take all day. He usually has to go onto the field 2o times to remedy errors that occur. People are especially edgy on pay days.

An old couple I delivered to, living in one of the suburban buildings (living costs there are probably around 400 Euros monthly; less if they are really really modest and shower in cold water), the lady got something like 118 Euros. She's been a housewife and hence wasn't entitled to more. If she was a widow, she's get her husband's pension or if she was alone, social services would provide something so she's survive. Nice thing about our country is we needn't really have homeless people. The homeless ones we have are such because they're stubborn. You won't really see folk living out of shopping carts or begging barefoot on the street - except when they organize, come in a big car, go out strategically and then do dramatic poses. Perish the thought you'd offer one a job. They'd beat you. Even the seasonal farmers that require tens of hundreds of people and pay decent fees need to import; all the while the syndicates are crying how we've got more unemployment than ever before. (But then again priests are preaching how poor we all are and they drive latest beemers.)
          But anyway, I was thinking about being old and so poor, you honestly cannot afford anything, probably never again. I am not poor, not really, I just haven't got money at the moment. For me such seasons come and go - sometimes I take on a great paying job, pay off my debt and stock up supplies for rainy season. And I don't feel like I will be forever broke. Stuff I'm working on, when it sells, it sells well and my reputation is slowly and surely expanding. And I don't really need anything. I have clothes and toys, Piček brings food and pays some of the bills and the stuff we earn off my art goes for game cards and materials. We've been on a hefty trip already this year, when I had money from the previous big sale to get us tickets; we don't really want to go on another till we lose all the infections and fungy from the previous one, we got the fridge and I got my smoothie maker for my birthday... Nothing I'd want, really, right *right* now. But I can always make lists. Camera for me, plasma for Piček, a cute small city car maybe, a new rifle, loads of books, investments into our new projects, new trips. Fun stuff. I don't want to think old age has to mean it's better to stop wishing.