Victor, Bold Street, Liverpool

Hero image

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am 46 and I am from Sri Lanka. I came to the UK in 2002. I travelled by boat from my country and then I hitched across Europe. I lived in London before I came to Liverpool.

“There was a military ambush and everyone I saw was dead.”

What was your childhood like?
My father died when I was young and we were very poor. Back in Sri Lanka I was a Tamil Tiger and if I go home to my country the government would kill me because of that. I joined the Tamils when I was a teenager. There was fighting. I have a bullet wound in my shoulder where I was shot.

Were you ever scared during the fighting?
Oh yes. There was a military ambush when we were sleeping. It was very bad. Many people were killed. I still think about these times. Last time, there were too many people coming and killing, killing my brother, killing my mother, killing my sister. Everyone I saw was dead.

Do you have any family left?
I have one brother left alive and he still lives in Sri Lanka. I do have a son as well, but he is with my ex-wife. She left me for her boyfriend and she took him and I do not see him anymore.

How has life changed for you now?
I am happy in my life now. I like selling Big Issue North. My English has improved because I have sold the magazine. Because I stand there selling and I am talking all the time. Before I came to Liverpool I didn’t really understand any English. I could just say my name. But since selling the magazine people are always talking to me and slowly I begin to understand more.

Where do you live?
I live at my friend’s house. It is a good place.

What’s your typical day like?
I start selling the magazine at around one o’clock in the afternoon and I finish at six. Then I go home and I cook food. Then I go to bed and wake up again and start selling again. I sell every day. I like to cook. I cook everything. In my culture, we use a lot of chilli powder and it can be very hot. I like hot spicy food.

Do you like selling the magazine?
Yes. I have good customers. If I am not on my pitch they worry about where I am. There is a beggar who sits near my pitch and he begs all the time. Some people give him money but they walk past me. This makes me sad because I am working and I am proud to work.

Interact: Responses to Victor, Bold Street, Liverpool

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.
Close

Big Issue North during the Coronavirus pandemic

We have taken the difficult decision to tell our vendors that they cannot sell Big Issue North on the streets during the Coronavirus pandemic, for the safety of the public and themselves.

This is a serious emergency for our vendors, and they need your help. There are three things you can do right now to help them get through this impossibly tough period.

  1. Buy our digital issue of this week’s magazine Buy
  2. Donate to our hardship fund, which we’ll use to help vendors in the most urgent need Donate
  3. Buy subscriptions and back issues online Shop Now