#15 left-overs

A private security guard sits at the library entrance six nights a week, after the university opened its libraries 24 hours a day, serving students working through the night to prepare for exams. There are no librarians present. It is the security guards who take care of students’ safety and well-being. Most are on zero-hour contracts and when doing nightshifts they work from 4pm until 9am. They only get a few hours of sleep as they commute large distances and need to be back at work on time for another 16-hour shift. Some take pills as it is hard to … Continue reading #15 left-overs

#14 breaking into a church can make sense

The church door had been forced open during the night. The church warden arrived early in the morning to unlock the place, only to discover the side door already swinging open. Her heart sank. The first thing she noticed was that all the candles had been lit. The main altar candles, the side altar candles, about 20 or so on the votive candle stand, the one in front of Our Lady. Lighting all the candles is quite an undertaking. And there, sitting a few pews up from the front, a solitary man sat still. He hadn’t broken in to rob … Continue reading #14 breaking into a church can make sense

#12 cuckoo

When we peak through the windows of an unlit and seemingly deserted security cabin on a public square in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), the door suddenly opens and a guard hops out like a cuckoo from his clock. He is a man in his sixties, a soon-to-be-retired policeman, who staffs the small white cubicle three nights a week. He looks after the square and its many landmarks, an Orthodox Cathedral, a National Theatre, a controversial statue of a national hero erected by the former nationalist mayor, and dozens of flagpoles. Now and then, there are troublemakers, who jump in or vandalize the … Continue reading #12 cuckoo