Kasper sits next to the trash bins. My nose reacts automatically to the stench emanating from the gap around the underground container but this doesn’t seem to faze him. “Hey,” I ask, “doesn’t that smell bother you? With a laugh Kasper replies: “Now and then, but you get used to it.” He’s installed himself this morning in the garbage pile next to the bins, along with a few bottles of beer. It doesn’t look like he has any plans to move on. Why should he? He thinks it’s the perfect spot! Some people stop and chat with him or bring him more beer or something to eat, and someone even left him a shopping bag of returnable bottles. Kasper tells me that he always sleeps outside. “There is no way I’m sleeping in a shelter with all the junkies,” he says. And as for food, that’s never a problem, claiming: “Man, when you live on the street people feed you to death.” He doesn’t accept any social benefits, never sleeps anywhere inside and what he needs he gets from the trash. “What about the winter,” I ask, “does anyone give you a sleeping bag or something? “No way,” he says. “You have no idea the things people throw out! I scavenge a couple of blankets and that’s warm enough. It’s nice and refreshing outside.’
It seems Kasper likes his life just as it is. No hassles with obligations and money and he goes or hangs out wherever he wants. It’s almost tempting. On the one hand I understand it, on the other not. He speaks well and could easily come from the well-off ‘Gooi’ area, and behind those sleepy eyes of his you can tell he is an intelligent guy. A good-looking man who, at some point in his life, made a choice. I would love to stay longer to chat with him about life and trash bins but I have to head off. “I am heading to city centre soon but I’ll be back again,” says Kasper, as if reading my mind. “Good plan,” I answer and wave to him as I walk off deep in thought.