Saturday, June 25, 2005

Summer in the city

This week I officially started my YWCA internship, and I have to say the most exciting part so far is just being downtown. My bus got me there half an hour early the first day, so I just walked around the streets for a while (which, along with being more interesting, seemed like a better idea than standing still on the street for half an hour.) Driving to the Carpenter Center I had always wanted to get out of the car and look at the shops, and now I finally get my wish. I left workaround nine that evening, and it was a pleasure to wait for my bus with the warm air and the sun setting pink and gold behind a hotel.

I like the way strangers strike up conversations at bus stops. Back in the suburbs the only communication I have with my fellow travellers is when some guy honks his horn as he drives by as I'm walking home from work or the library. The center of the city is a place of contrasts - beautiful old government buildings and law offices next door to dilapidated hair-braiding and clothing shops with metal grates that are lowered in front of the storefront at closing time. The people match. The white people with suits and briefcases won't even look at you when you pass on the sidewalk, but the blacks usually offer at least a nod and often an actual exchange of pleasantries. It makes me kind of ashamed to look like the people with briefcases.

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