So I owe you guys an update.
Work either has me traversing town at top speed between freelancing gigs, or sleeping until midday and mooching around in pajamas. It's erratic, but at least it's there (at last). Yes, the economy seems to be perking its nipples.
Even so, more and more beggars and buskers fight for space in the city centre. The music they produce clashes and overlaps as they just crank the volume louder. Even the Hari Krishnas now dance around carrying speakers.
Sometimes I sneak a glance at the proffered hats and see more coins and notes than I have in my wallet.
I asked a group of men killing time in a bus shelter if they had a spare cig. Too late I smelled the giveaway, they belonged to the halfway house across the street. "Can you roll" one asked. He handed me his pouch of tobacco. I was touched. Inside were butts that he had collected off the street. His stinking, filthy treasure. With much respect, I had to decline.
So often it's the people with nothing who are the most willing to share.