The Space of Boredom: Homelessness in the Slowing Global Order
As the politics of social exclusion, and ultimately of social death, unfold in Bucharest through the inability to participate in consumer practices, the chapter examines the homeless’s efforts to manage their boredom, as much as their poverty, by seeking out stimulation. The chapter explores ethnographically an illicit market for sexual favors unfolding in the bathroom stalls of the Gara de Nord railway station. Staffed and frequented by homeless men, the market also caters to gay Romanian professionals and foreign tourists. While the quick cash and titillating rushes made possible by these sex markets provides a sense of release from the boredom of marginality, the chapter notes that these efforts ultimately contribute to the stiffening of class boundaries.