( 4UMF NEWS ) Homeless Man Lives In Cemetery:
There’s no place like home, and for Bratislav Stojanovic, his home is in a tomb.
The homeless Serbian man has been living in an old, seemingly abandoned, cemetery in the southern city of Nis for about 15 years.
“I was afraid in the beginning, but I got used to it in time,” Stojanovic told Reuters. “Now I am more afraid of the living than of the dead.”
Stojanovic settled in the garbage-filled tomb after his home burned down in a fire that also killed his father over two decades ago. The now 40-year-old, who previously worked in construction, found himself without a job or many friends during Serbia’s turbulent departure from communism.
He holed up in abandoned homes for a time, but eventually set his sights on the cemetery, so aged and deserted that nearly all of the deceased’s names have faded from their gravestones.
“As other homeless people robbed me on several occasions, I’ve decided to find a place where no one would bother me, not even police,” he explained.
Stojanovic said he initially slept out in the open in the graveyard; but decided to move into an empty tomb, just 3 feet by 3 feet, when the weather turned cold.
There he’s lived a quiet, relatively undisturbed life. Sometimes locals will bring him food and other supplies; otherwise, he spends his days picking through trash to find scraps of leftovers and treasured knickknacks.
The homeless man decided to settle in the abandoned graveyard 15 years ago because it was a place where “no one would bother” him.
“I have never stolen anything. I did not even desecrate the grave I live in, it was already open,” he told the Agence France-Presse.
Stojanovic said he bathes in a public bath, but often does not have the money, a little less than $2, to pay for transportation there.
“I also need 120 dinars for a bus fare, as in winter it is not easy to walk two hours to get there,” he said.
He likes to pass the time watching people visit the cemetery’s main church.
“When someone I like enters the church I count the time he spends inside, no one spends more than half an hour, most often a couple of minutes,” he told Reuters.