Saturday, 5 August 2017

Buddy the dog, Pitt Street Mall

The man sitting with Buddy told me the dog is seven months old. "I got him in January," he said. He complained about the owner of Narla the cat who, he said, had threatened him because he had taken her spot on the pavement. But he said she had been given $100 by a passer-by and had gone to Kings Cross to buy methamphetamine. "That's why I don't talk to the homeless," he said.

He said the woman's boyfriend worked the pavement nearby, and that she had come from Melbourne to Sydney to beg. He said it was easy to live on the streets in Sydney, and pointed north to Wynyard, east to the park and south to Central Station to indicate where food could be found of an evening. "There's 27,000 homeless in Sydney," he said. I mentioned that the tent city in Martin Place was quiet today and he was dismissive, telling me he had gone up there to pitch a tent recently but the other residents had made him feel so unwelcome that he had gone to stay overnight, instead, in a hotel.

His son was "upstairs", he said, indicating the building behind him, where the Myer department store is located, with his thumb. "I've got a 16-year-old boy to support," he said. "I've been here since five o'clock this morning and this is what I've got," he said, nodding toward the small basket next to him on the ground that was full of coins. I shook his hand when we had finished talking and he wished me a good day as I left to walk home.

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