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Published: March 13th 2014
A block away from Gas Town the scene changed suddenly. There was a darkness about the people there. It just looked dodgy and I felt uneasy. The people were not dirty but many of them looked unkempt. There was negative energy there thats difficult to explain. It was so obvious because it is so different from the Canada that I've known so far. A place where everything is pretty everywhere you look.
There was a man and a woman who approached me and told me to hide my camera because people may get angry if they think I'm taking their pictures. I said thank you. Hid my camera in my backpack and retraced my steps to get back to the pretty side of Gas Town. Okay, I got scared and almost ran. I brisk walked if that's what you wanna call it. I thought I would get mugged any second. They are so much bigger than me and I'm all alone.
I wasn't taking their pictures. I didn't take photos of any of the people except for a street performer who was playing ukelele and singing in Gas Town and I took it from afar. She had such a
beautiful voice. She didn't have a mike and speakers but her voice had resonance. I could have listened to her for hours if only there was a bench near where she was singing.
Oh and there was also another street performer that I took a photo of. He was in an electric wheelchair. He had a mike and speakers but unlike the woman, this old dude didn't sound nice at all. I only took a picture of him because he was singing My Way and that song is huge in the Philippines. He could get shot singing that song in a Karaoke bar.
I knew before coming here that there are homeless people all over the world. I just didn't expect there to be so many in a place like this. It's not easy to understand. I'm sure theres plenty of jobs available for everybody.
I talked to a woman who works for a goventment funded non profit organization that helps people find jobs. She said even the homeless can find work if they wish to. But many of them do not want to. I'm not in the position to judge. Since I'm not from here. I
just don't get why they would chose to be homeless if they had a choice.
I learned that they get rations of food from the government. They also have homeless shelters where they can sleep at night so that they don't die in the cold. They look nothing like many of the frail starving homeless people that I see in my country. They are healthy looking people. Most of them are white men. I never saw any in the residential areas in the suburbs. They are all in the downtown area. Where the restaurants and cafes are. I never saw any homeless children but I deed see one teenager who looked about 16 to 18. I saw one dragging along a bag with trolley and he seemed to be collecting thrash that can be recycled. Some that just asks for cigarettes, and some ask for money.
I saw none that looked pitiful. Like the dirty malnourished children that I see in the streets of Manila that make you wanna give them food and money. The homeless people here are well fed.
I went to church here one day and in the afternoon they distributed sandwiches to the
homeless. Lots of churches and organizations do that. Distributing food to the homeless. So they are never out of food. Some of them are even vegetarians! Filipinos would think thats absurd. That homeless people can be picky. But things are different here. So different.
I've been told that many of the homeless teenagers ran away from their homes. Some are victims of sexual and physical abuse so they ran away. That I understand. I'd rather be homeless than be oppressed in my own home. Since food and shelter at night are already guaranteed anyway. And you can find work if you want to work.
Some of them are drug addicts and alcoholics. Some are depressed and gave up on life. Some have iPhones. Yes. Even the homeless can afford iPhones here. This is Canada.
Now about Gas Town. It's the oldest town in Vancouver. It's famous for its old brick buildings and the steam powered clock right there. I really did enjoy that place.
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