Our vendors: Boban Pajkovic (Augustin, Vienna, Austria)

By Boban Pajkovic, Augustin

I’ve been selling Augustin since 2004. I found out about it from a seller, but he’s not here anymore. He sold a lot. But wherever I stand, it seems like I don’t sell anything. It doesn’t matter where I am.

Andi from Sales said to me recently “There’s some [sales] available in the 16th.” I was in the 16th district yesterday – nothing! Earlier on I was in the Kettenbrückengasse. Then the police came: “ID!”. I showed it. “Fine! No problem. Carry on,” they said. When I go through the Naschmarkt I’m bound to sell a few Augustins, though. The people who buy Augustin are always nice. I’m always smartly dressed. I’m also allowed to sell the magazine in Café Ritter, on Mariahilfer Straße. I don’t have any trouble there.

I’m from Serbia and I’ve been in Vienna since 1967. I’ve got Austrian citizenship and my own flat as well. I’ve been divorced for 20 years and haven’t remarried. But I get on very well with my daughter.

When I was 15, I started boxing. I now receive a few donations to cover the cost of training once a week, four times a month. They are paid by a good man, Mr D. We’ve known each other for 14 years. He’s retired now. We got to know each other in the pub on Gumpendorfer Straße where my sister worked. He was a regular and someone asked him, “Couldn’t you help Boban Pajkovic? It’s about citizenship.” He said, “Sit down, tell me your date of birth and where you work.” He even paid for the costs of citizenship for me. Then he asked me if I could box. Back then, I started training regularly and after a year I had a match: I boxed and won in the second round with a k.o. I stopped boxing but now I’m starting again – for the exercise.

I always go to the doctors for check-ups because I’m a heavy smoker. They’re going to listen to my chest and look at my heart next month.

I used to work as a waiter. I earned good money. There were balls and this and that. I earned the most at banquets. Now I get a pension because of my health and I’ll get the full pension at 65. But things aren’t bad, and I can’t complain about my life. I’ve got to listen to my daughter about the smoking, and even Mr D said to me yesterday, that I’ve got to stop smoking.

And another thing: I was sitting in the Operngasse when a man looked and me and I looked at him and he said, “What are you staring at?” Whatever. We went to the underground and on the platform, he shoved me and I fell under the train. The little toe on my right foot got cut off. The man who shoved me, I only knew him by sight. I was in the newspaper, on TV, everywhere.

Translated from German by Holly Bickerton

Courtesy of Augustin /