January 07, 2013

On the Street and Getting Around

Hobo signage for getting along on the street.
It's been so cold this past week that the libraries are all full of homeless.  Every computer station, every desk space is taken and the bathroom stalls in the ladies rooms are full of women sleeping in some relatively safe place.  Poor things.  It's nearly impossible to imagine not having a place to go home to in the evening.

I'm getting along and finding my way fairly easily now.  In past years when I've had to go someplace new, I've been memorizing the map and getting there without any other reference.  It's been a helpful brain exercise because I have a good picture of my location in relation to the campus and the key places that are helpful to know.  Now I can get around and even return from a place by a different route without getting lost and without referring to a map.

If I were homeless, I'd know every place that would allow me to hang out in some comfortable chair and warm place.  I'd know where all the public bathrooms are, and where I could pick up leftover food.  The street people up by campus are a rowdy bunch but there is rich camaraderie among them, they seem to laugh together easily.  But it can't be easy when the weather is cold and they are relegated to the street.  I don't care what anyone says begging is hard, cold work.  Having experience begging as a monk, I can attest to the difficulty of it.  Whatever any homeless beggars receive in their bowls, they earn every penny.