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This is a question Things you've done when you've had no money.

Apart from the usual survival rations of beans, white bread and Doll Noodles™, we've all done things to compensate for having no money. Personally I spent 6 months barefoot to save on the cost of shoes. What pathetic things have you done when the cash ran out?

(, Fri 8 Oct 2004, 9:34)
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In my chaotic and directionless life,
I have been unemployed and/or homeless on a number of occasions - manageable in good weather, when young and in decent mental health.

In London, while living in a shed in the garden of a derelict house in Hackney in the late 80's, I used to keep a decent outfit clean in several layers of bin-bags and would wear it to visit every art gallery opening I could get to for free wine and food. In Los Angeles, where I stranded myself for three months between the end of a contract and my pre-paid, unchangeable return flight, I ate my fill of fruit (avocados, endless citrus, figs, prickly pear - all grown for display, so not really stealing) from the gardens of the moderately wealthy, and did even more galleries - generally slept on or near the beach, and a few nights in the drunk tank when pulled by the polis (not allowed to sleep on the beach, you see - not quite sure why).

Mostly, an adjustment of expectations allows an adequate diet on very little money - no meat, limited alcohol/narcotics, lots of pulses and cheap carbs. Scavenging in markets is a good way to pick up discarded fruit and veg that is perfectly edible when washed and trimmed. I used to get the newsagent to put a card in his window (will do any odd job for cash), and take messages for me - painted a lot of walls and did shopping for housebound old people for 25p a time. Eventually, someone was kind enought to let me use their postal address, so I could get a normal job and rejoin the mainstream. I am not sure that I feel any happier, but I do have more things.

Reading back, this isn't funny and doesn't fit with the "poor student, ketchup sarnie" nature of the responses, but sod it, I don't have access to image manipulation software this week, so this my only reasonable means of self-expression.
(, Mon 11 Oct 2004, 17:50, closed)

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