Rant: Homeless – a very true story about ‘that woman holding all her belongings in a plastic bag’


Most locals have probably seen the cover of the most recent Svalbardposten and know people (or were among them) joking about “that woman holding all her belongings in a plastic bag.” I will tell you her true story.

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Arriving from France seven weeks ago, she is haunting the streets of Longyearbyen, Pyramiden and Barentsburg. She put an ad in Svalbardposten looking for a flat so, technically, yes,, it seems she has no roof. Even according the housing standards of St. Martin’s Canal in Paris, sharing a less than a two-by-two meter tent with a dog definitely makes her homeless. I’m sure many of you have seen “This little doggy, isn’t it sweet? Please give him a sausage,”* tied up at the campsite, Fruene or Svalbardhallen.

And for whom encountered this woman at the swimming pool, well, everybody needs a bath sometimes. I was even told that on Saturday she squatted inside a warm bus the whole day among the tourists of a big boat ashore. Maybe some of them even took pity on her and gave her some money!

Seriously speaking, I never imagined helping one of our “colleagues” in the mainstream media with a mere snapshot would have such effect on citizens here?

So, I hope you had a lot of fun. I had some writing this self-derisive text. I am usually known as “the Swiss girl with the dog” – here it could be “the crazy woman who wants to works with Russians” (yes I know some of you also think this) or maybe it will be “the only homeless woman of Longyearbyen.” Well, as long as people know who I am…I don’t care.

Meet you soon for a laugh! 🙂

Marion Prudhon
Official bag lady of the coolest newspaper on Earth

(*thanks Terry Pratchett for this one)