Sunday, October 27, 2013

This past week has been pretty calm around the badlands.

On Thursday my husband, Matthew, and I went grocery shopping. It seems like it would be a normal outing, however, we don't have a car so we take public. We like to shop at Aldi and there are two near us. The only problem is getting to them. One is right of the el, Elevated Train, stop near another ghetto of Philly and the other one is past our house the other direction by bus. So we went to the one right off of the el because it is faster and more convenient.  This Aldi is near the projects to put it bluntly. We stick out even more than in our neighborhood.

So on the train ride there we were jammed in the aisle between the seats and a little boy was sitting in front of us. All of a sudden a man started to pet the kid's head. I looked at them a little strangely, but I guess they were father and son. Then the boy got up and stood by his father. I said he could stay if he wanted, but he said I could sit there so I said thank you and I did. .

Now my husband is standing and I am sitting, keep in mind that I can still see the boy and his father. As I glanced at them I noticed one of the fathers nails, it was pointed in the middle. I thought how odd that he would have his nail like that and I kept reasoning why. I decided that he bit it off or ripped it off and it didn't go all the way. Then I saw all of them, they were are filed to a sharp point in the middle. Naturally I was a little freaked out. My conclusion changed from a ripped nail to fighting nails. Yikes, wouldn't want to mess with that.

We proceeded with our Aldi trip, we were all checked out and we were packing up. The security guard (most stores in our area have guards) was eyeing us up and down. I don't think he was used to seeing anyone like us.

The next evening Matt and I hung out in Center City. On our way home after we got off the el two guys were sitting on a door step. They started to yell, "Dope, powder, dope, powder." We politely told them no thank you and continued walking. Then one of the guys gets up and says, "Well what about Rocks? We have that too."
I thought it was clear that if we reject dope and powder that we wouldn't want rocks either.. I guess I must be the crazy one and not thinking straight...

Like I said, a really uneventful week. I did want to do my nails though. Maybe I will try my new friends style.. pointed. Just kidding.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

City Life

This past year has been a whirlwind of change. I have moved at least 4 times to different states, took my first international trip, got married and  I moved into the "badlands." Technically the "badlands" are part of Philadelphia, just a part that people recommend you stay away from.

Here is a little of the back story on how I ended up here:
During the spring and summer of 2012 I did an internship with a church in Kensington, a ghetto of Philadelphia. This area is known for having the one of the worst drug corners in the US and I was going to share the love of Christ to the homeless and addicts on the street. I thought I would only be there for six months, the length of my internship, little did I know that I would meet my husband at the church and move here.

Fast forward:
My husband and I have been married for almost six months and we are surviving. At first it was really exciting to move to the city because it was something new and exciting. I am originally from a small town, so I liked the change of pace. After six months in the ghetto, I miss my slower, small town atmosphere. We live in a neighborhood that is primarily Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and drug addicts. Since we are a young, newly married, white couple, we stick out like sore thumbs. Cops will see us walking home, keep in mind there is a guy shooting up (a term used when someone is doing drugs, usually heroin, by using a needle to shoot the drug into their veins. This is not shooting a gun, although that happens too.) on the corner that they passed, and turn around to watch us and see what we are doing instead of getting the guy shooting up. I go running and get confused stares from passers by (No one really runs unless it's away from the cops.) Also, while running, I get the friendly motivational cheer of a "Go white girl, go white girl, go!" At least they are cheering for me right?

Needless to say, my husband and I are ready for a change in scenery. The past few months we have been searching for an escape plan, unfortunately God is keeping all the doors closed.

So what did we do? We made a two year plan. We are committing two years to living in the badlands, saving up, and moving out.

For the next two years, I am going to write about my adventures in the ghetto. Survive the badlands with me, maybe even cheer for me from time to time like my neighbor.
Can I get a "Go white girl, go!"?