for many months now i have had abandoned all my time consuming projects, like creating new music, writing new books, and some other plans. only the training of the mind was and is unaffected because i can often do it while on the move and before sleep.
the priority i set a year ago was to take care of my health and get my paperwork done in france. what a naive idea. i literally had hundreds of meetings in tens of french institutions and organisations. in the beginning, about a year ago, i managed to select only about 20-30 important meetings and places to go, from a booklet with a thousand addresses in paris, but in almost every meeting i have been strongly advised to go to several more. at the time i thought it all will soon be over.. i was wrong.
about a month ago i was forced — by the limits of time available to go everywhere — to abandon several tasks regardless of friends and social services insisting i should continue. i can’t — it’s just physically impossible to continue with everything considering that i also have medical issues and need to visit hospitals and medics several times a month. the discontinued tasks would take several years of legal battles with no guarantee of success. i abandoned the procedure to get a place to live with the help of government. i also abandoned the idea of getting an invalidity document — my back and knee are hurting since very old injuries from decades ago, forcing me to take strong painkillers when i can’t support the pain anymore, and sometimes i’m forced not to move for a day or few for the inflammation to subside. in other respects my health is great and i’m in full power, but i’m not allowed to carry weights which restricts my options to get a regular job.
now i also consider to abandon the procedure to get any financial support. for over two years, since i returned to france, i had zero financial support from france, nothing at all. only friends helped me in the beginning till i learned how to make money on street. a few days ago i got a letter with third rejection of financial support — not counting the rejections of small one time emergency payments — on new excuses not mentioned in previous rejection letters, after i provided the necessary documents they asked. it’s like deliberate “mistakes” by the institution, again and again, refusing support on the reasons not relevant to my case. i worked in france since 20 years ago for several years and paid my taxes, but as i’m not french then the institutions make up every excuse possible not to respect my rights. the letter which i just received showed that the rejection decision was taken already a month ago, leaving little time to contest the decision – i need to find a legal representative and so on. everything points to a deliberate effort of making it impossible to get the support i’m permitted to get by the law as an european citizen who lived, worked and paid taxes in france for many years and happens to be in difficulties. thus i think i must stop wasting my time on it. two years of exchanges is enough. in theory, if i do succeed to prove in court that the whole two years i’ve been refused support illegally, then by the law i should get paid for the whole time, the two years since the first request, but there’s no guarantee that another “mistake” won’t make me to lose the case. it’s obvious the deliberate nature of the mistakes since the reasons for refusal are changing each time.
also the confirmations of my tax declarations for the last years had never arrived by post regardless of going to the tax office few times and asking to re-send them, so yesterday i spent half of the morning in the tax office to finally get my old tax declaration confirmation printed but for the last year i must still wait. it’s almost the end of this year already and i’m still waiting — for half a year — while some institutions need the proof of my tax declaration.
you see, it’s never ending. in the last few days i got another ten addresses to go, so i decided i had enough. as i have no income the only money i get is what i make as a “street artist”, so it often happens that sitting in queues for hours and having countless lengthy meetings i can’t make any money, having only a few coins left in pocket. all of the administrative work also comes with the price of not working on my creative projects. i see no point to continue like this. i must begin working on my projects again even if i must live on the street. there’s no point to live the life for just eating, sleeping and having a roof over head.
to be fair, not everything is bad in france for the people in difficulties. there’s free food and free medical care and those are great. the difficulty is to get a financial support and a place to live. in the last year i have learned how to make money on street and i’m getting better at it, so now, instead of running around with ever growing list of institutions, i must just keep making money creatively till i earn enough to rent a place.
living on street is ok to someone like me, used to travel around the world in tens of countries with no money, in wild forests and mountains, but it takes too much time away from every day to keep clean, to wash clothes by hand, to get eaten, to get devices charged, to find new shoes and clothes for next winter/summer or repair them, to repair other things you can’t afford to buy new, especially the camping stuff which is wearing up with constant use, to store your bulky expensive things and documents in safe places and to search them when needed, to make money for urgent needs etc. etc., and then to take care of the endless administrative work as well. even such simple things like going to bathroom can take time because public bathrooms are often occupied or not functioning.. and to go there you must take the most valuable items with you because they may disappear from your tent any time while you’re away.
also packing and unpacking takes quite a time every day — you can’t leave behind everything in your tent when moving around. you can’t take everything with you neither so each day you must select what to take and what to leave behind, depending on what you need this day and risking the rest of the stuff to be stolen. too much stuff needs to be carried in large backpack and it slows down considerably because you need to take rest and/or wait for public transport which isn’t too crowded so you can get in with whole your stuff. every day is a an exercise for the body and brain when you don’t have a home. i should mention that often you’re not able to sleep in peace because of the things what happen around the place you sleep. often people disturb you directly as well simply because they don’t like the view of the tent on their walk or near the place they live. thus, all that mentioned above must often be taken care of while terribly tired, barely able to concentrate on anything.
you must also pay attention to the fact that apart of countless appointments with different services also the things like shower and food are available in certain short time space during the day, often at the same time with other services, and those are all in different locations across the whole city, so you must plan a week carefully in advance to decide which days you skip the food and when you can take a shower. you must constantly keep an eye on the time during the day to reach all the planned destinations. missing an appointment is not an option because then you must wait for weeks or even months for another opportunity.. you rather miss the food and shower to get to the location of an appointment on time.
now imagine that you also want to keep yourself up to date with the world news and the news in different sciences and to work on your projects at least in some minimal way, like on the ideas how to better make money on the street. it requires time to design new fliers for sharing, to print somewhere, cut and fold, and to prepare other stuff for the planned street performance to have some minimal income for basic needs. also, everything needs to be prepared for sudden changes in weather like rain and strong wind because your “office” is the street under open sky. all it does take considerable effort so i just have had no time for my bigger projects.
i must get back to a “normal” life on my own, no longer wasting my time on trying to get help from french institutions. if you’re not french then everything is done to not to respect your rights, till you give up yourself. no wonder there are so many homeless people on streets of paris, some relying on alcohol for support, because the french system has pushed many of them to the point of giving up.
regardless of all the difficulties i am a happy person and take everything as a challenge in life, perhaps even as something to write a book about one day in the future. my ideas of new books though are on other subjects than my struggle. maybe i will need to resort on recording short videos or audio stories to avoid the time consuming task of writing another book. will see, i’ve got some ideas, now i need to make free time by not continuing all the administrative stuff which isn’t absolutely necessary. a year or two spent on running around with no success is enough, i’m not planning to make it a ten years of wasted life. those things that have worked out in the past i will continue to take care of, those which have been dead ends must be abandoned not to regret the wasted time which could have been used for creative works.
if the things won’t get better then the last resort is always to change the country, to live another experience while starting again from zero, but so far i’m ok in france. as i said, not everything here is bad. i’ve got to change the priorities to improve my living conditions and to be able to work on my bigger projects.