Hungarians observe the curfew, but what about those who have nowhere to go, since they already live outside? According to reports, the authorities are very lenient; they know they can’t stand guard at every blanket that is laid out.
Since Wednesday, there has been a curfew throughout the country. No one can be on the street between 8 pm and 5 am, with a few exceptions. These include workers, dog walkers, and professional athletes. Most people follow these rules. However, the limitation does not apply to those who do not have a home. Tens of thousands of homeless people live in Hungary, thousands of them have no cover over their heads. The hostels are full, and they feel more secure on the streets anyway, as theft and infection are common in the hostels.
Police also seem to be aware of this. According to the homeless, the police are exceptionally humane. Nlc.hu talked to six homeless people about their experiences.
He’s been on the streets for six months. His apartment was taken. Public domainers took a lot of his things, such as books, blankets, boxes. “They’ve left me alone, they know I’m a good person, that I keep everything around me clean,” Gyula said.
Police disturbed him twice yesterday. He had to leave the area. “I went to another subway.” He can’t do anything else. Nearby is his younger brother, with whom they help each other. According to István, the police are cool, they know each other. The police just warn him, he hasn’t been punished since the epidemic. He avoids the hostel because of bugs. He is also afraid of theft, but he is not scared of the coronavirus.
He has been on the streets for twenty years, growing up there. He goes to a shelter when he wants to have a shower or rarely when he wants to sleep. His wife has a walking frame, so it’s hard to move from place to place when cops arrive. He says: “I am not afraid of the virus. I am afraid of people.”
He sleeps in a passage with a friend. He has bed linen and got food. If he is distracted goes further, but he feels the people very humane lately. He lived in Toronto, but now the police are even kinder, he only has a good experience with them. He also keeps himself away from hotel lice, bugs, and beetles.
He sleeps in the same place as before. There are a lot of people in the hostel, and the conflict is constant, so he prefers not to go there. He is with a friend, and they hold together. Sometimes they can even work. Most recently, for example, they were packaging. “We are left alone for now, and we haven’t even seen cops since this austerity. We’ve seen soldiers as to why they need a weapon, I don’t know.”
“There is silence, there is rest, there is peace.” The cops did not bother him, he used to get out in the rain, but now nothing. The homeless shelter, he said, is worse than prison.