Day 6 – December 28, 2010 – Happy Birthday to me

Start from the beginning

Happy Birthday to me! – Midnight

Happy Birthday to me!  I spent an hour talking to Kenneth in his alley.  I really enjoyed hearing his metaphor: “the earth is our apple and we need to stop rotting it.”  On my birthday, I would like to drink tea and introduce my friends to Kenneth.  We agreed to introduce them at 4:20 pm on December 28 in his alley.  I guess something that I didn’t know before was that Kenneth’s alley is actually pot central alley.

I don’t support the usage of drugs, but I don’t consider marijuana much of a drug compared to alcohol.  Alcohol is a much more potent and damaging drug than marijuana is.  Alcohol causes hundreds of deadly drinking and driving accidents each year and incites violence in many cases.  People who smoke marijuana would rather hug it out, whereas drunkards would rather fight it out.  I think it makes more sense to have weed be legal than alcohol.  Of course there are exceptions to everything and drugs do affect people differently.  It is better to enjoy life without having to take any narcotics that alter the reality we live in.

Anyway, today is my big day.  I turn 28.  As I was heading to Blenz, I could see Sean greeting me with a smile.  He remembered that it was my birthday, so he prepared a large cup of hot water for me even before I entered the store.  At this time, I had already run out of tea bags; so I’ve grown accustomed to drinking just plain hot water.

I decided to warm up and dry before going to sleep tonight.  Not only did Sean prepare hot water for me, but he also gave me a free marble cake as a birthday gift; thank you Sean for remembering and for being generous.  Feeling welcome anywhere gives a humanistic feeling that goes beyond any descriptive words which make up our language.  Being homeless, not belonging or feeling unwelcome in this world is a major hurdle for anybody in life.  I’m sure that over time, even the strongest men and women would break down after being rejected every day by the people who make up our so-called civilized society.

I’ve decided to have a slight change to my project.  I’m going to sleep in what they call “crack alley” on my last night here.  I’m going to take out my camera from my pocket while staying there to make sure that I do not lose any of my photos.  Kenneth said that he would take a picture of me to offer some evidence for this event.

Some of you may ask why I’d do such a thing.  Well, I want to challenge every stereotype that exists in this city.  Kenneth was suggesting that I should get a spy-cam and walk around Hastings, so that people get a real experience of what it is like in this neighborhood.  I am sure that would change people’s opinion of this area.

Human beings are beautiful or hateful creatures.  I think it’s time to choose a more positive outlook in our world and we can start right here in our backyard.  Picture Vancouver as a role model city for others to follow.  All of this depends on how big you – the people – want this dream to become.  Let’s turn our world into a “Garden of Eden” and let’s break out of the stereotypes that exist within our minds and hearts to become a free, peace-loving human race.

I hope my experience can shed some light on what the Eastside is really about.  If it doesn’t, then I guess I have become just another person who had a life-changing experience.  But I highly doubt that.  All of these stories turn into seeds which could potentially germinate at some later point if the circumstances are right for growth.

I’ve been sitting here at Blenz for a while now.  The weather outside is cold and rainy.  This chill made a few people take refuge inside this 24-hour business.  Lawrence, who you will meet next, was one of these people seeking refuge from the cold.


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