Camden and Philadelphia

Published: May 2nd 2012
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Today we ventured to Camden Aquarium, surrounded by small children and for some reason the entire Jewish population of new jersey. My attention span lasted all of about 45 minutes there are only so many fish you can be awestruck over before you come to the conclusion they are still just fish. Though the penguins were pretty cute if not also completely stupid I was overwhelmed by the urge to push one of them over and watch them attempt to self right. Kayla told me that the penguins wouldn't have appreciated that even if she would also find it hilarious. I stroked a string ray who seemed to be enjoying human contact a little too much.

After much persuading Kayla, my American mother, agreed to let me wander around Camden unaccompanied so I could see what it was really like. Camden has some of the highest crimes rates recorded in America for a city with a population under 100,000. Within 5 minutes of being on my own, I had been accosted and grabbed by a man who proceeded to call me sexy...

It was shocking to me in a country as affluent as America they can allow a place like Camden to fall into such disarray. The public library stood abandoned, buildings were falling apart, smashing windows, smashed cars. This was the area that was next to the court house, the prosecutors office and the police station. The other areas in Camden, Kayla wont let me near, and perhaps that is wise after what I have seen in the "good" area of Camden. What I thought was most poignant though was that in between the derelict buildings, smashed windows and general rubbish, was the myriad of church's in such a small area. Church's from every religious diocese imaginable, I wasn't sure if it was the hope they offer, or if they were just a tangible representation of the desperation felt in a city western civilisation had "forgot".

On the city hill was written the words "this town is invincible."

After Camden I spent the next couple of days venturing into Philadelphia, I went to see the liberty bell which is basically famous because it was made so poorly (you can blame the English for that). Though the crack is seen a symbolism for liberty work that one out.

The constitution centre was interesting, with the history of the constitution. Once again deemed perfect.... But an analysis into the omission of slavery is at least mentioned. It was fascinating to see how many people who signed the constitution... But what was more telling was how many were Irish....also apparent was a rather strange love of Bruce Springsteen, fetish or insanity i'm not quite sure.

Once again the American way of explaining things managed to annoy me "the American revolution had the most American casualties of any war except the civil war"....... Seriously??? Why state something as a fact only to then contradict it!! Such an American thing to do, or maybe I'm a bitter colonialist.


12th May 2012

All i can really say is well done on persuading Kayla to let you have some unsupervised time in Camden...didn't think you'd actually win that one lol (also well done for not being shot at haha). Hope it was as worthwhile experience and you were hoping for. x

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