Strange Cargo

Lessons from the Jack London Finishing School

Thursday, July 20, 2006

7176 – Fighting the Poverty Pimps

Winnipeg, MB

Arrived at the Symington Yard at 8AM and bailed off my 48 on the fly before I got too deep into the yard where security measures will be a problem to navigate. My exit from the yard was pretty easy except for a cattail swamp of considerable size which forces me to walk right by the security tower at the main gate. If they saw me they did nothing about it. Shortly thereafter I emerged adjacent to the Union Stockyards and jumped on the first bus I saw.
Once downtown Winnipeg I made my way out to where my friend Rod lives. Upon arrival I called him but no answer. Searching around the neighborhood I found a park to lay down for a snooze. I have since finished “The Jungle” and have now moved on to George Orwell’s “1984”. I guess this is the summer to catch up on the classics. I enjoy this book for its biting commentary on social conventions still being bandied about today as rules to live by in a modern capitalist society. Much later I call Rod again and this time he answers and welcomes me over. Rod lives in a one bedroom apartment right off the main drag through town. He unfortunately has a rare (to medical science) infection of the lungs. The doctor has ordered rest for a good many months to come. He welcomes me inside and takes my picture for posterity.

At this point I am one dirty, smelly and tired dude. There’s nothing like a few layers of train dirt to cut one down to size and garner a few sideways glances from the populace at large. Thus far I have come about 1800 miles from Prince Rupert in about three days. I still have about 3500 miles to go before I’m in Halifax and at the Atlantic Ocean. Getting in the shower the water runs a darkish oily grey for a while before reaching equilibrium and its normal aqueous state.

In the meantime Rod is fixing us something to eat and before long we settle into an interesting conversation. Rod is a community activist of some 25 years and naturally the topics between us cover observations and ideas of how we should treat and care for one another in these awkwardly opposing democracies that we live in. I think that we agree direct action is the best way to go and to leave the bureaucrats to their own devices.

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