Thursday, 9 August 2012

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Shopping Cart Folks

Oshawa, Ontario

“I’m 62… I’m a boomer. I never became a hippy but my husband was.” Ena went on. “I was working for a law firm but I got laid off two years ago. A lot of people got laid off since General Motors started cutting back. But the town, Oshawa, still keeps going on…”

Ena was pushing her shopping cart for several blocks with determination and destination being the grocery store. “We used to see Hare Krishna’s on the street singing away.”

Ena typified the friendly nature of the people I met today. All along through the towns of Bowmanville, Courtice, Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering, I believe people were responding to the summer sun. Ena sticks out amongst the encounters, perhaps because it was the longest exchange. We were walking together for several blocks. The wheels of her cart needed some realignment as they were giving her some trouble staying on track. She gave me a bottle of frozen water which I carried until I saw a homeless man laid out flat in sleep maybe on alcohol. Let him be in slumber I thought, when he awakens, he’ll see a cold diluted drink next to him.

I felt like I was moving with the usual ebb and flow. Highway 2 here has much traffic. Some movers are pedestrians on the go, to work no doubt. I witnessed a man who appeared to move at a turtle’s pace.

He was not going to work. He was across the road. He was fully clothed, almost in denial of the heat, which is at a rising 31 degrees Celsius. For his paraphernalia there was a shopping cart full of bags loaded to the hilt. I would say he was 1/6th the mass size of his baggage which accounts for his tardy movement. He reciprocated from 6 lanes across.

What is this? Shopping cart day, I wondered. You wouldn’t see so many people walking in ratio to the motorists. By the time I reached Ajax, the town, not the detergent, I was seeing once again that the majority of us are auto bound. It would perhaps be below to push empty, half empty, or old shopping carts around.

After 6 hours on the road of madness, Daruka transferred me to the waterfront trail. At the finish point, which happened to be at a nuclear plant, Chris from Snap Magazine came to hear about my shopping cart people, and about the various baggages we all carry. My message to him was also travel light, walk, reduce pounds, chant, reduce karma.

33 Km

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