Shops and Restaurants

When I first entered the camp, I was really surprised that there were shops and restaurants in the Jungle. Some of the goods being sold in the shops look like the donated shampoos and soaps that may have been handed out as part of the hygiene kits, but there are items such as batteries that are sourced from elsewhere.

Sometimes you see men in the restaurants rolling cigarettes in their spare time. They have rolling machines and the cigarettes look like ones you would buy in a pack. Ten cigarettes are wrapped in silver foil and sold for 1 euro and are referred to as ‘jungle smokes’. One of the shops was selling cheap trainers for 10 euros, but even though some men’s shoes were ill fitting or sodden, they could not afford them, so they had to wait for the Tuesday distribution, which was the most difficult of the week.


Some restaurants have their own bakers, but there are those that just make flat bread. They charge 50 cents to volunteers, or 1 euro for a cheesy flatbread.

The hairdressers usually had customers, especially later in the day. Haircuts and shaves are a much more social event and men would sit around chatting in the barbers’ shops. There was even a hammam in the camp.