The Day After

Start from the beginning

Going Home – 8AM

When I awoke the next morning, I gathered my belongings and headed for the door.  A tray of muffins were near the exit – I took one.  This was my breakfast.  Last night’s sleep was a bit unusual for me, because I am used to sleeping on hard surfaces now.  Aside from a few groans of pain made by one of the occupants and the change from concrete to feather; I slept reasonably well.

Nevertheless, it was now time for me to go home.  My project was successfully completed.  To be more precise, only a part of this mission is now complete.  The next step is to translate my entire experience into words and re-create what I saw, felt and heard.  Making the transition from experience to language is a near impossible one, but I will do my best to convert reality into symbols.

I used public transportation to get home.  Before boarding the bus, I pulled my bus-pass out of my pocket to show the driver.  I am officially the old Nima Farzaneh again.  I am not sure if the last statement is true, because this new experience gave me a new appreciation and perspective.

When I opened the door to my apartment, I sat down and started meditating.  Not long into it, I broke down into tears.  Why are some of the homeless mistreated for things they had no control over?  And why are there so many injustices against the people who were nothing but kind to me?

Seeing people go through severe mental or physical pains every day of their lives, while accepting this mistreatment, disheartened me.  They have come to accept this as their reality, but why does it have to this way?  While we cause a lot of their pain and grief – due to our judgmental behavior towards them – this disease is easily preventable.  The cure is to become more open-minded and accept people of all races, wealth status or disabilities – physical or mental.

Once I was able to control my out pour of emotions, I was thankful for being kept safe over the past seven days.  I was in the right place at the right time.  This perfect timing gave me the ability to write such a compelling story of the Downtown Eastside, one of the poorest communities in North America.  After visiting my mother, I will contact all media outlets for publicity, because these stories and experiences can’t be kept silent.


13 responses to “The Day After

  1. Nima, Thank you for writing all these many words. They did touch my heart. I hope some more of the media will take what you’re saying and broadcast to a wider audience. Thanks again and take care.

    • Thank you Joe for reading my blog. And I am happy to hear that my blog has had a positive influence on you. The media did broadcast my message through many types of communication existing in our world today: newspaper, radio, TV and the internet. So I have been very grateful for such publicity. It seems to me that the message has been heard.

  2. Thank you Nima

  3. I just finished reading your homeless for the holidays blog and I really enjoyed it. It’s refreshing to see an honest and compassionate take on the subject of homelessness in general and particularily the DTES. Thanks for sharing your story and the stories of the people met.

  4. I find that all the ads on this site take away from its content. Are you making money from this site?

    • Hey Joe. No I don’t make any money off this. I thought I removed the ads already. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I personally hate ads myself.

      Do you know how I can remove them? And is it possible to remove ads from a free wordpress account? I will look online for a solution now.


      I looked it up and in order to remove ads from my site, it would cost me $30 bucks a year. I am not interested in paying this amount, because I am planning on leaving this blog up for a long time. I guess this is how wordpress makes its money. I apologize for any inconveniences.

  5. Steve (not the blogging cop)

    Good stuff, Nima.
    As you state several times, these troubled people are people, too.

    I do outreach work in a major Canadian city, and I agree that the people ‘on the streets’ are often considerably more genuine than are so called ‘normal people’ in our messed up, material-driven culture. As you yourself discovered, the ‘normal people’ cannot accept this fact.

    I reached your blog via the link you put up on the ‘Beat Cop Diary’ blog, which I’ve been reading pretty much since it began.

    Once again – well done on your week on the streets, as well as your documentation of it.
    I cannot agree with you, however, about marijuana being a ‘relatively harmless’ drug. Yes, alcohol does immense damage. But I have seen too many kids mess up an important part of their lives with pot.
    As well, it would be extremely difficult to find a heroin or crack or meth addict whose initial illegal substance was not marijuana.

    One thing I am curious about is if you’ve done any follow-up with the people you’ve met…
    I find it hard to imagine that since your 7 day experiment terminated, you’ve had no contact with these people. You made some friends out there, and even though it seems that your acquaintances do not value, appreciate, or understand the ‘non socially acceptable’ friendships you created on the street, I would hope that you would value them enough to maintain a contact.
    After all, all friendships are important…

    • Hello Steve,

      First of all, I’m very sorry for the really really late reply. I have been busy studying for school and haven’t updated my blog for a long time.

      Yes, I have and still do keep contact with some of my friends in the Downtown Eastside. Of course, I am not in contact with all the people I introduced in my blog. I do occasionally talk to Brain, Kenneth Trevail and I have met others that I did not meet during my week of homelessness.

      I have become very good friends with Kenneth Trevail and we hang out on a regular basis. Kenneth and I have taken part on a few high school and university field trips to the Downtown Eastside. So you could say that our friendship has also become a form of a partnership. The goal of this blog and our objective is to increase the dialogue between “us and them.”

      Nevertheless, thank you for reading my blog and the nice comments that you made about it. I believe that the pot vs alcohol debate can be argued in either direction, neither of which is good for one’s health. I think I was attempting to choose the lesser evil of the two.

  6. Hi Nima…… just happened to take a look at this website again, after 6 months, so saw your advertisement explanation. I completely understand. I’m just happy you did this great thing of living and writing what you did.

    • Thank you Joe. I definitely did not create this blog to make any money. If anything, I spent money on this blog and experience to make it happen (taking days of work, donating to the UGM, etc).

  7. Dear Mr. Godspeasant,

    I just finished reading your blog from start to finish. I found it both entertaining and enlightening.

    With all the scientific marvels, there’s no reason why small sanitary rooms cant be set up for anyone in need. A safe and clean 8×8 room thats warm and dry and kept free of bedbugs. Plus 24 hour centers where people can go and sit and have a hot cup of tea.

    You have a kind heart, sir.


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