Slumdog Millionaire Romania: Beggar Earns More Than Doctor or Teacher

Dressed up in rags, begging for a penny – that is the image that Ion Rădulescu, also knows as Pisică (Romanian for “cat”) shows to the sympathetic people that give him money. Little do they know that the “poor beggar” is anything but poor: he affords a plasma TV, he has dinner in proper restaurants and goes to get spa treatment on holidays. He earns more than 12.000 Euros a year, which is by far a lot more than a teacher with 20 years in the classroom, a doctor fresh out of med-school or an army colonel. The money he makes allows him to even bribe waiters to let him sleep in the restaurants at night during winter. After a “begging marathon” just before the winter holidays, he took the money he made and spent a week in a fancy resort in Romania, with all inclusive services, among which spa treatment. Now he is back in the streets of Timişoara, raising more money from the people who think him poor.

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