May 22, 2012 - England    7 Comments

London’s Creative Guide

Have you ever asked yourself the question what you would do if you were homeless? There is a general opinion that homeless people are causing their misery themselves. Where in some cases this is certainly true, if you put yourself in the shoes of a person living on the street, you will soon realise how hard it can be to get out of this spiral state. Applying for a job might turn out to be less easy with neither an address nor appropriate clothes.

Passing by beggars, I often wondered if I would be more creative than just sitting on the street and literally begging for a living. Would I try to do something illegal or something really creative. I guess from my perspective it is easy to think in such a way, but really being a homeless guy is totally different.

Anyway, during my last visit to London, I decided to do this photographic project that has been floating around in my head for quite some time. The goal of the project basically was to go up to total strangers and ask them to pull a funny or silly face for my camera. Simply something that will make people laugh when they look at the picture. My goal was to get 30 people which turned out to be a lot, considering that about 50% of the asked persons didn’t want to participate. It was especially challenging to get some “advanced-aged” models for this project.

Getting to about 25 participants, my friends wanted to go to China town. Unfortunately I only knew which tube station we had to get off to get there. Luckily though, there was a guy in a yellow jacket who was offering free information for tourists. We asked him where we had to go, so the friendly guide explained it to us and drew the way on a map which he later gave us. During the conversation, our suspicion that he wasn’t an official tourist guide turned out to be right. He explained us that he was actually a homeless person. He added that this was his way of making some money but that we were totally free to give him something.

Because he was really polite and participated in my project, I decided to make an exception and give him some money, mainly because I thought it was not only extremely helpful but also naturally friendly and not at all deceitful. I just thought this was really different and more creative to other homeless people. Now, it might be that he chose to live that way, but maybe it was his strategy to get his life back together. Whatever his story is, he seemed really content and happy to help out some tourists in the great cosmopolitan city of London. My friends and I really enjoyed talking to a real Cockney (Londoner) and thought he gave one of the most hilarious “funny faces”.


I would love to hear  your experiences with a homeless person. Have you ever given them money or bought them food? What would you do if you were left on the street?

PS. Go here to see more of the funny faces ;)


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  • “the friendly guide explained us” should be “the friendly guide explained it to us”
    “turned out the be right” – “turned out to be right”
    “He explained us that” – “He explained to us that”
    “he actually was” sounds better as “he was actually”
    “he gave one of the most hilarious “funny face”.” — since it’s “one” of many, say “funny faceS.”
    “hear from your experiences” – “hear your experiences”
    “What would you do if being left on the street?” – “What would you do if you were left on the street?”

    So, Raphy, I got an internship in downtown Chicago and I’ve seen many homeless people lately. In fact, there are usually a few in college towns as well (including mine in Iowa). Although I feel bad at the moment that I pass them, I don’t give them money because I don’t know where the money is going. I would rather give money to my church to take trips to the Soup Kitchen or to homeless shelters directly so that I know it’s going to the right place. I think this encourages homeless people to GO to the shelters as well. Some people will surely disagree, but they are free to give people money as they wish.

    I definitely would’ve given that nice “tourist guide” some money, too. I think that would’ve been a nice exchange for some helpful information.

    • yeah i definitely agree with you in this point. I don’t normally give money to a homeless people. Sometimes, if I really feel like doing it, I stopped talk to them for a little bit and ask them if they wanted me to get them some food – something they hadn’t had in a long time for example. I think they appreciate that much more than just throwing down some money. As you said, you don’t know where the money is going to end up. The Soup Kitchen that you are supporting is another great way to help those people… Sometimes it’s hard though, because some of them don’t seem to want to be help…

  • an = and line 8
    choose = chose line 8 from bottom
    it was is = it was HIS line 8 from bottom

    what every his story his = whatever his story is

    greets ;)

  • ich hab auch noch einen gefunden: What every his story his -> da ist das allerletze h zuviel :-D

    Ansonsten: Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm – ich bin stolz auf Dich und Deine Differenziertheit!!

    • jap. Einige Eigenschaften habe ich auch von dir geerbt ;)

  • For me homeless people always strike a chord. It must be very hard living on the street, but I think you can do something against it. With this I don’t mean begging, but doing something creative, like music, art, etc. I like your story very much for this guy really put some thought into this!
    However, I want to earn some points! =) I would change the first sentence into: Have you ever asked yourself what you would do…” For me it just sounds more natural this way. Then “shoe’s of a person” should be “shoes of a person” and “out off” is written just with one “f”. Furthermore it should be “the goal” in paragraph three. And last but not least you wrote “to others homeless people” instead of “to other homeless people” and the past of “to choose” is “chose”.
    Well, I think that’s it! =)

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