Day 1 – December 23, 2010 – Getting dark

Start from the beginning

Getting Dark

After eating at the Union Gospel Mission, I walked along Hastings.  A bus stopped right in front of me, so I decided to hop on.  I told the bus driver that I had no money.  I really didn’t.  She waved me onto the bus.  Once I reached Granville Street, I tried to get myself a hot cup of water at Blenz, but their 25-cent fee was too steep for me.  I had to go to Starbucks instead.

I’m currently sitting on the side of Granville Street in downtown Vancouver while drinking tea and writing about my experiences.  If there is one thing that I have gotten better at, it is listening.  I believe that listening is more important than talking and so far, I have a lot of evidence to back that up.  I’m not talking about any kind of listening either; there is a special kind of listening that I would like to call “non-judgmental listening”.  People want to be heard, but nobody likes to be judged.  And who am I to say what is “right” and what is “wrong” anyway?

Anyway, so where am I sleeping tonight?  That is the question.  A challenge I will be facing throughout the night is staying dry.  Vancouver’s rain can be relentless.   Everybody I have met so far has been trying to convince me to sleep at shelters instead of the sleeping on the streets.  I may have become a better listener, but that doesn’t mean that I will necessarily take advice given to me.  I need to stay within the guidelines I have set for myself.

I’m contemplating whether I should sleep on the doorsteps of First United Church or not.  First United Church provides beds to sleep on, but many choose to sleep outside because of their bed bug epidemic.  Jim told me to stop by his place tomorrow morning which is near this church.   I am looking forward to Christmas Eve tomorrow.  My thoughts are too scattered, so it is time to start meditating again.  All in all, my experience so far has been overwhelmingly amazing.  I wish for more of the same.

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