Stratos is a homeless man in the streets of Florence. He is from Greece and we spend 3 hours talking ans sharing with me his experiences that turned to be life lessons.
let Me INTRoduce
His name is Stratos. I met him in Piazza del Corso while I was walking around. He sells handmade vases and pots by paper.
«I used to make jewelries by paper”, I say to him while I was observing a colorful vase.
«Where are you from?” he asks.
"Sovara (really) !!" replied in Greek.
And we spend the following three hours to talk about his life stories...
I loved my wife, she is from Italy that's why I ended up here. But I was not honest with her. She was right not to can tolerate me...
Now we have one son. He is married, he doesn't want to talk with me. I understand why. When he was a kid my priority was to save money and do my things... We hardly had a lunch on Sunday like a proper family. But you cannot bring back moments, time passes only for once.
His wife would like to help me but now I am old...I was a sailor for years, I did several jobs, I did my choices and now I must deal with that. No one else should pay my choices.
I don't believe in any religion. A priest wanted to help me. I told him. "There is young guy near there, try to help him. I only need from you to have a bath some days." This is my priority. Especially when I visit my grandchildren and y friend back in Thessaloniki.
"My girl, you are a young and
beautiful woman don’t take advantage of that. Women are strong, I admire you
and we should respect you! Now I am old I know..."
Stratos looks educated and I am trying to understand of the background.
"My girl, there are only a few casinos in Europe that I haven't been..."
Note, though I am not sure if that matters, Stratos is homeless.
I am not writing that story to feel mercy, Stratos is really proud! Neither to judge him, Stratos knows his mistakes and he takes responsibility.
I share that story to share with you what he told me at the end:
"Well, sometimes it is redeeming to talk with someone... Thanks I really needed that!"
FOOD fOR thOUGHT