“Vancouver is not always about craft beers and snowboarding.”
– A wise remark from a fellow writer
I was on my way to a meeting, thrill was bubbling in my stomach. I got on a familiar bus, going on an unfamiliar route. 5 stops, 15 minutes, my phone announced.
First stop, Downtown was shallow and sun-soaked people washed over it.
Second stop, heavy shopping bags, dangling from tired arms, mounted the oversized vehicle.
Third stop, the sun-kissed skins and steamed dresses stepped off to explore Gastown.
Fourth stop, the polished buildings, with a rustic charm, were replaced with beaten concrete blocks.
Fifth stop, I got up from my seat, next to a man wearing multiple-day-old clothes and got off the ride.
Only two stops east of Gastown, I found myself in Ghost Town*.
The sad walls of the erect structures whispered abandonment. The dirty windows of the stores advertised emptiness.
A frail man lay under the fading sun beams, with his limbs draped over the gravel parking lot.
A woman, decorated in scars and bruises, washed her tired skirt under the water fountain.
A young man, wearing his bones inside out, stumbled about, speaking to the thin air.
I have never been to this part of the city. Although, it’s not a million miles away, only a few minutes from the shiny shops and tourist-attracting sights.
Initially, I was scared, but glancing around at this feeble state, misery crept into my mood. How can our city be so numb to this throbbing wound?
Have you been to this kind of neighborhoods where you live?
*This title is a fabrication of my imagination, and is not in reality assigned to this neighborhood.