Saturday, July 19, 2008

We're not in Highland Park Anymore

not that we ever were... anyway...

I looked out my window a few days ago and watched as a man urinated in the bushes that line the road. When he was done, he brought his fingers to his mouth and whistled to get the attention of a friend. Nice.

Everyone keeps telling me we're just getting warmed up for India, in so many ways.

Saturday evening was the first time since we've gotten here that the poverty really got me down. I headed out with the boys to pick up a pizza. It was early evening, most of the businesses were shut down, just restaurants open really. Across the street there was a fairly large group of women with small children, probably 12 people total. All were sitting or laying on the sidewalk with boxes of gum and candy. I'm not sure why they were all together like that (maybe all waiting for the same bus?). Maybe it just seemed like more than usual since there weren't a lot of other people about? The pizza place faces a park, sidewalk cafes line the rest of the street. The beautiful people were out in force. And the disparity between the two scenes was depressing.

The covered entrance to our building has a few stairs that lead up to the door. During the day there is frequently a woman and her two children that sit on the steps, selling gum. On almost every corner there is a little table set up, usually with a woman and child, but frequently a man too, selling nuts. I don't think I've ever seen anyone buying any nuts. Early last week as we walked home from the park we passed two boys carrying their gum boxes. One of the boys was probably 10 and the other quite young, maybe 5. S said, "I guess that boy's old enough to be out by himself? Selling things..." No, S. He's not.


Hammy said...

It is hard to see the difficult lives so many people have to live. And while you admire their efforts to try and sell gum and nuts and make some money, it almost makes it more depressing because you can't be disgusted with their lawlessness or lazy attitude.

I was talking to my friend in Vegas who is going to be a foster parent this fall. I asked who the demographic is that usually requires foster parents and she said it is rarely the immigrants. The Mexicans in Vegas(according to her) do everything they can to keep their kids with them. Family is a top priority.


And while you aren't in Highland Park anymore, there are some pretty disturbing, though differnt, things happening there too. But I suppose that is a discussion for another day.

Alicia said...

I busted out laughing reading that first paragraph, which wasn't good because I was supposed to be listening to a phone conversation.

Erin said...

kathryn, late one night last week, i saw from my bedroom window a young girl, 10 at the oldest, walking through our neighborhood, selling something. she was all by herself, and she was stopped by two older men. i watched like a hawk until they left her alone, but i was about ready to send matt running down the stairs to watch out for the child. so frightening, sad and depressing... did that little girl have parents or anyone who cared where she was?? it made me heartsick.