Claire Whiting Meets… 810 Miles To Meet The Happiest Homeless Man


I’ll never forget the day that I met, who I’d like to think of as, the most positive and free spirited homeless man.

It all began when I saw this YouTube clip of a talented street performer. . One man, one loud speaker, a violin and a scruffy old local. Thumping music echoed under the bridge in Berlin. The modern music appealed to many passers by. Especially the homeless man! I’m not sure whether it was the tune that made his feet move or the empty plastic bottle of cider in his hand. Either way, he was having the time of his life.

I’d never travelled alone before. I’d recently read a book that inspired me and after seeing this clip, I’d booked a flight for one to Berlin, Germany.

The mission was on to watch street performers in Alexanderplatz and to see ‘The East Side Gallery.’ The graffiti spoke of so much history and I couldn’t wait to experience my first solo adventure. I booked to stay at The a Circus Hostel after reading many reviews on Trip Advisor.

“Bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-buuurrrr!’ The sound of arrival of the Ryanair flight… I was there! So much to absorb, the language, the graffiti-covered buildings, the smell of German pastries filling the air.

After checking into the hostel, I introduced myself to my roommates. A talkative French girl with pink, fluffy hair and a Venezuelan guy on his first trip of Europe. He inspired me to learn Spanish and discover South America. We arranged to meet for a beer in the downstairs bar later on in the night. But first, exploring to do!

“Ein ticket zum Alexanderplatz bitte.” I validated my ticket for the U-Bahn and headed to the centre. Looking up, I recognised ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ and located myself on the map. Strolling into the open air, I sat with my coffee to do some people watching.

The sun was shining and I heard the familiar sound of a Bob Marley song. A Jamaican guy strummed his guitar and sang to a cheering crowd. As I looked closer, I had to do a double take. It was him, I’d found him! A white beard, white hair, a grey hooded top and the moves of a twenty year old in a techno rave! It was the homeless man that I’d travelled 810 miles to find! On lookers recorded the performance and I excitedly shook his hand. His skin was dry and weathered from years of sleeping on the streets. His smile was wide and beaming.
“I saw you on YouTube!” I said. He smiled and replied in German to which I couldn’t fully understand. However, we shared a moment. Two free-spirited people from two different countries laughing and dancing to the sounds of reggae music on the streets of Berlin.


4 thoughts on “Claire Whiting Meets… 810 Miles To Meet The Happiest Homeless Man

  1. Claire, what a great story! Made me feel all smiley inside. 🙂

  2. Obara meji says:

    Wow! I loved that you did this! And on your own, it is a great thing to follow your instincts, listen to yourself and trust, I really admire that, couples with the fact that a Jamaican guy was playing his music there, I am Jamaican so that spoke to me, kudos to you and God bless!

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