The border guards did not let me get on the boat because I did not have enough money. I tried again the day after, helped by someone I knew, and I managed to get on board. On 5 December I arrived in Bari and from there I went to Naples.
For the first few days I wandered around, sleeping on the street and looking for a job. After four days we started working as farmers, collecting rapeseed for an Albanian man. The ground was wet and the work was hard. We were staying in a shack: there were only a shower, a small gas cylinder for cooking and a bed made of wooden planks. I worked there for a few days just to save some money and then I left without saying anything to my father. He would not let me go. I booked a bus ticket to Florence. I did not know the city but I heard that it was easier to enter a community there and the economic situation was pretty good.
On 31 December 2018 I arrived in Florence, I got off at Villa Costanza and did not know where to go.
I asked for information in English on how to get to the center and I was told to buy a tram ticket and get off at Alamanni station. I got on the tram and arrived at Santa Maria Novella station.
When I got off I got stopped from a lady begging for money. I only had 20 euros in my pocket, so I gave her some food I had in my bag.
I entered the station looking for a policeman. I saw the military and I went to them. I showed them my passport telling I was a minor, because I knew that they could have helped me and sent me to a community. They told me to go to the police station and showed me the way. When I arrived, the police station was closed for public holiday and I went back to the tram station.
I looked for a place to eat and I found a "99 cents" shop and got some food.
From there I went to the Arno river, I spent some time there and when the night came, I went back to the station. I sat in the waiting room, right under a surveillance camera hoping it would be safer.
I fell asleep and at 1 or 2 am a person touched my feet and woke me up. I thought the military wanted to close the station but there was a weird person who told me: "Come with me, your parents are waiting for you outside".
I pretended not to understand and he told me: "Come and eat something with me". I did not accept and he tried to hug me, so I pushed him away and went inside to look for help. I ran into a ticket collector and I told him in English what had just happened. We went out together to look for that man but he was gone.
We talked for a while. He asked me many questions and if I was alone. I hoped he would take me to the police station but he just told me to go there the next day. The station got closed and I spent the night in front of it.
The next day I tried to go back to the police station but it was closed. I took the same path: I got some food, went to the river and back to the station to spend the night.
On 2 January I went back to the police station and they told me that they could not take responsibility and I should have moved to another place near Piazza Indipendenza.
I waited and finally the policemen interviewed me to find out how I got there.
Someone said: "This boy is really quiet" and I realized how tired I was.
They took me to Villa Carmen, they showed me the room and they introduced me to the others. I took a shower and I slept for 24 hours.
On 11 January I joined the Oxfam project.