I have always been too embarrassed and ashamed to admit this:
When I see this train, I am reminded of a time when I had to forge train tickets in order to go to school. The ticket below has a QR code. So it would be impossible to forge now.

Below is the what I forged.

When I was a student at the AAA School of Advertising in Cape Town I used to take the train because it was cheaper and I could also use the time on it to read.

My mother was unemployed and I could soon foresee a time when things would get really tough. They arrived.

I lived in Kenilworth in a digs with a group guys from church. When the tough times came I had to choose between paying for rent or food and transport money and equipment for my college projects. I chose food, transport and equipment and became homeless, sleeping in a flat that was being renovated until the construction workers arrived while I was sleeping.

As time went by, I realised that it won’t be long before I was forced to choose again. This time between food and a train ticket. I choose food.

As an art direction and design student, I had the necessary equipment and training to forge a ticket. No one knew I was doing it.

My heart would skip a beat each time I flashed my card at the train station by the turnstile worried that an enthusiastic conductor would pay close attention. There were no scanners then, they only relied on the technological wonder that were the eyes of the conductors.

Not one of my proudest achievements but poverty sometimes just traps you into making impossible choices.
And worse, train tickets were so cheap.

Tell us: have you ever been in a similar position to the writer of this piece?