The mood shifts of the boys are very real as the warmer weather disappears and the colder weather moves in. It’s harder to find time to really chat and find out what life is like as they are so cold and so hungry, but I also have found myself thinking that very real fears of how they will cope with sickness and surviving the cold and sleeping in ditches are more tangible.
Three nights ago Alex had his birthday in a secret, tucked-away corner of a Parisian city park.
He is young in his round face. Has an easy sticky-out-toothy smile that reaches his soft eyes. He has one of those silly annoying hairstyles that is half flicky emo fringe and half super stylish. He's kinda goofy, charming and desperately talkative. His English is perfect but with unmistakable Afghan mannerisms.
Here in Puglia there seemed to be a very different, more commonplace response to these (mainly African) guys by the locals. Everywhere I looked, they interacted. Shop, cafe and bar staff, bantering with the street traders. Fine-dressed women, smiling, inspecting their goods, politely declining. Italian kids sharing fist-bumps and more - laughter, camaraderie. I saw colleagues and friendships, between locals and migrants.