Hiking, Travelling and Dreaming

This was intended to be my thoughts on travelling, but I'll have to tame my wanderlust for a while longer....

Saturday, March 27, 2004

A Walk in the shoes of a Homeless Person

They are everywhere. Sitting on the sidewalks with open hats. Some bare signs that ask for help. Others ask kindly for spare change. We see them in the metros, we watch them digging in the garbage for bottles, and we turn our heads when they cradle bottles of booze.

When I first moved to the city, I felt empathy for the homeless population. In my village, no one was homeless. Being homeless was something novel. Over time, I became desensitized to their cries. It became as common as the rest of my routine.

Lastnight, I got firsthand experience of what it feels like to be homeless. After an unsuccessful climb up Mount Royal, Merc and I were drenched. We ran down Cote des Neiges to his place in the downpour. Since all of my clothes were soaked, he lent me an oversized hoodie(from his larger days) and a pair of shorts.

I then left his house wearing the baggy outfit with my hairy legs showing. As I walked into Guy metro, I got all kinds of stares. I got some pity smiles, more stares. I think my plastic bag full of my wet clothes topped the costume off.

Upon arriving home, my own roommates barely recognized me!!!

I know the homeless go through a lot worse than that, but at least I got a glimpse of what being homeless is about. Frankly, I don't know how they all do it.


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