Vendor moments 2017: “The paper, that helped. I’m really grateful for that”

Günter Wölfle, 64, is a Strassenkreuzer vendor near Nürnberg’s main railway station in Germany

I am most proud of my home. The aquarium that I built, which I had to sell loads of papers for, that gives me the most joy.

This year I mourned the death of my wife, my soulmate. I think of her a lot. She had been ill for a long time, but she wanted to cope with it on her own, and then it was all over. She died at home….. But we’ve all got to go, sooner or later. I hope I can keep going for a bit longer, God willing. We’ll see, though, won’t we?

The most challenging thing this year has been all the paperwork, all the form-filling. Then the funeral and all the aggravation that came my way after that. All that stuff with the authorities, all that drove me nuts because it was so hard, and you’re always glad if there’s someone around to help you. And the paper, that helped. I’m really grateful for that.

I’ve still got a few more things to sort out with the authorities, but I’ll sort that. I’ve dealt with the hardest parts, and I’m glad that’s over. I feel a load is off my shoulders. I’m looking after my health a bit better as well. That’s the most important thing.  And I like helping other people, that’s important, because you can make new friends that way, and people can see that I mean well. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to get on with other people. Oh, well, I’m glad I’ve got this far, that’s all.

I’m looking forward to things going better than they do now. Oh, there are lots of things I wish for, but whether they come true or not, that’s another matter. What I want most is to go on holiday again, to Egypt or somewhere, I’d really like that. I’ve been there a few times. That Water World was impressive! It’s amazing. Thousands of fish in a space of like one square metre, that’s something you ought to see. Wonderful!  I’d love to go back there. But, you know, I haven’t got the money. It’s easier when there’s two of you. From what I make selling the paper I’ve got to pay the rent and all the bills, I need money if anything needs mending, the telly, or the fridge or whatever. Apart from that I’m happy. You can be happy with very little money, that’s what I feel. I just feel crap when people take liberties with me, when people take the piss and then I notice. Then I feel, well, really angry, you know? I get in a bad mood with everybody, even when people mean well. But it all passes, I always say. You just have to take what comes your way, don’t you?

Marco Neeser, 42, sells Strassenkreuzer in front of a pharmacy in Bucher Straße, Nuremburg

Quite a bit has happened this year. I reported my girlfriend to the police, my ex-girlfriend. She was sentenced to one-year imprisonment. That’s the first thing. The second, hmm, there are quite a few things. But the other thing that stays is connected to Strassenkreuzer. I was sent away from my pitch once. Here, in front of the pharmacy, the vibrancy is good, bloody good. Yes, that was about it.

As for personal success, well, no idea! I think, the dog was sick for quite some time. He suffered from this thing, an allergy to food or some kind of allergy. I managed to get this under control. Generally speaking – there’s not so much I am proud of. Things just keep going.

I was really surprised by the fact there are so many – as written in here (he points at the October issue of Strassenkreuzer), that there are so little apartments available and that you really can’t find a place for yourself. I am looking for a flat myself. I am sharing a place now but this is not an official flat. Now, I don’t have a bathroom; it used to be some kind of construction company in the past and they rented out the basement. I have a toilet, a basin, no kitchen. I mean, I read the important things and other stuff. However, this is interesting as I have a homeless guy currently staying with me. He is a buddy of mine that I let stay with me for some time. Officially we are two people, but this guy is also staying in my room. He drinks quite a lot. I am about to give up (the search for an apartment).

The other thing that’s been a challenge is my diabetes, which is endlessly annoying. I am more or less coping. Well, I am usually coping with everything.

Next year, I hope things keep on going, and financially get a bit better maybe. I would like to be in a relationship again, that’s the other thing. Well, apartment-wise I am not really holding out hope on that, to be honest. But maybe, that’ll work out if I win the lottery!