Since I've been writing about stuff that I've been holding back for a long time right now, I figured now is the perfect time to chat a bit about my experience of being homeless in California, USA.
I'll be completely transparent and say that I was looking for work in the U.S. which I may or may not have gotten haha. I'm just saying that for legal purposes. Not sure if it even matters lol.
But while I was hunting for work, I spent almost two weeks living on the streets of Arcata. I spent the majority of my time at the local park which is where all the homeless people spent all their time. It was a very strange feeling being out on the streets feeling hungry and cold at times. Seeing people live normal comfortable lives was what made it hard to digest the situation.
The most interesting part of the experience was seeing the dynamics between homeless people and people with homes. There was a huge sense of individuality between the two. The people with homes were super proud of having a home and felt a complete disconnection with the homeless. It wasn't everyone but almost everyone. And most of the homeless people victimized themselves and almost always started their conversation with Well right now I'm homeless. Then most of them proceeded to cry or become depressed with the idea.
Living like this took a toll on me especially because Christmas was close. I couldn't handle the cold and loneliness at the same time honestly. There was something about being in the streets and seeing people with so many resources refusing to help you that totally really digs a nail into your heart.
There were some good parts to this experience though. The best part was seeing all the opportunities homeless people had in the U.S. I was able to go to food banks every week and collect weekly food for free. The food wasn't healthy, but it was food. I was able to get peanut butter and bread that I ate with bananas and granola. That was my daily meal and I accompanied it with free coffee that I got from the local supermarket. This wasn't legal, but I found a way. I took my own thermal to the store, and they never checked.
After learning a lot about veganism from my friends, I now know I was basically consuming a bunch of chemical-heavy food with a ton of sugar and salt lol. God damn U.S.A.
Another question I got from my friends was "Where did you shower?" A better question was "Where did you take a shit?" Well, the simple answer is that I found a nice supermarket with a clean bathroom for that. I had to ask daily for the door code at the front desk. So I played it cool and pretended not to be homeless haha. Concerning the shower, I barely fcking showered. Maybe once a week and I had to go to the sauna which cost me $8.00 USD to access the pool, sauna, and bathrooms at the local gym. Luckily it was always cold, so I didn't stink that much.
Another interesting that I did while being homeless was playing pool a lot because that's how I met other backpackers and made connections. I spent almost the entire day at the local bar and even became kinda popular.
Even though California and the U.S.A. left me with a bad impression and taste in my mouth teaching me that many of them are individualist, capitalist, hardcore consumers and fcked up in general, it was very enlightening to become aware of this fact. I also learned to communicate with these people which was the hardest part. I couchsurfed with some of them, and it was basically a battle of egos every time we had a conversation. Luckily I was in a good frequency and was able to keep my cool.
I also learned how bad the U.S. American diet actually is. It was scary seeing how every single piece of food was designed to keep you hooked on sugar and salt and everything was just designed to sell as much as possible. Moreover, the healthy food was often hidden and sold for far more because it was trendy and the healthy folks were forced to pay more for the quality.
God bless America!