You Could Never Imagine What Goes on beneath the Streets of Bucharest

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You will not believe what goes on beneath the city of Bucharest, Romania. From above ground, the city has been dubbed the "Paris of Romania" by tourists.

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But the tourists don't get to see what goes on underground, were a vast network of sewers house societies poorest outcasts and drug addicts.

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Here, pretty much every person lives with the HIV virus, and half of them also have TB. Despite this they are left abandoned in the darkness.

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The smell of a metallic paint called Aurolac is snorted by the addicts from small plastic bags, leaving an overpowering smell.

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The entrance to the underworld is through a small gap in the pavement on a traffic island.

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A man deals out Aurolac for the equivalent of 50p a hit.

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They have electricity however, and dance music is constantly pumped out of the sound system.

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The place is absolutely full of dogs, and there is just enough room to let some puppies scamper past.

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A resident takes a look at a needle full of a drug that is similar to methadone.

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You cannot just walk in however, you have to be invited by the guy standing up, Bruce Lee.

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He likes to call himself "King of the Sewers" his arms and torso are a patchwork of scars and tattoos from a lifetime of self harm.

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Another drug similar to methadone is also on sale.

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Social workers say that Lee tries to protect the young and vulnerable from sexual predators.

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Lee looks through pictures of him and old friends when he was younger. He was abandoned at just age 3 by his mother.

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Lee has been living in the sewers all his life, and in that time has had a lot of friends that have passed away.

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Lee puts his arm around a young boy named Nico. Last year he contacted full blown AIDS and almost died in hospital.

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Lee pays protection money to a local gang. Users are actually safer when underground as they are offered warmth and safety.

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In some of the rooms there are home comforts such as pictures on the wall and artificial flowers.

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Lee says he wants to prove that they are good, honest people. And not the scum of society that people think they are.

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Lee says: 'They come to me, for food, warmth, parental advice, understanding. We are a family, we want to be a family here, and that's what we are'

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A dog tries to lick a cauldron of drugs on "the counter".

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Lee, Nico and Aluca pose in a 'family' photo which is both a happy snapshot, yet full of darkness.

Its hard to believe that people live like this. Although their drug addicted lives might be hard to relate to, we can all appreciate that living on the street must be hard enough, but living under it seems even worse.

via Daily Mail