Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Home

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When we are feeling down and sorry, we ought to put things in their proper perspective. The Weekly Photo Challenge is Home. To see more, follow this link.

Yesterday I was reading in Yahoo News about the prevalence of cage houses in Hong Kong where many people in a very rich island lives in poverty. Many of them are old people who lives in a wire cage with a space enough only for their body to stretch in when they sleep. They look like chicken cages actually and they pay rent to have that space in a building. Am sure they share common kitchen and toilet with how many more people like them. Most of them have been waiting for years for public housing, some are families with small children.

When my mother and I went to Paris we met a couple of Filipino women. They told us their stories. One of them invited us to their apartment. Her place was in a nice apartment building close to the Eiffel Tower but once she opened the door I felt like living in shoebox. I was appalled then. Her room only has a space for a twin bed pushed to the wall, a foot of walking space to go from the door to the other end and all her things were stacked to the ceiling. There was no space for a chair, we sat on the bed while she and her friend were on the floor. There was no place for a burner to even warm water for coffee; she bought her food at the Vietnamese store where they weigh the dish you want and it comes with rice. That’s where we met them. The bathroom was shared with the other tenants on the floor. For her that was her home. She seemed proud and happy that no matter how small it was, she has her own space and privacy. She lived by herself and she did not have to abide by someone’s rule. The sacrifice one has to make so she could provide a better future for her family back in the Philippines.

When they asked, I told her how their successful compatriots live in the States. Space is no problem for many of them. Our walk-in closets are twice or thrice as big as her “home”. I’ve walked in homes here where it is too big the house feels empty. One owner even admitted that when she gets home she imagines all sort of sinister things when she hears noises or even just the slightest sound. Furnace humming, doors slamming, refrigerator motors running, homes here make plenty of noises. Too many empty rooms. Isn’t that sad?

I want a home that is no matter how small is filled with happy chatter, loud laughter, shrieks of delight and joy that you don’t hear the creak of the floor or the on and off buzz of the air conditioner.

In New York, the most coveted address are the ones that faces Central Park. They are the richest of the rich. They live in historic old buildings where several men stand guard of their homes they could well afford to live their doors unlocked all day.

And look at this homeless person in Central Park. In all my more than 30 years here in Chicago, I haven’t seen a scene like this. It was a very cold morning then and I was busy taking pictures. I loved that the park was empty except there was this man and his belongings marring the view of what could have been a postcard pretty picture of the day.

His home and whatever worldly possessions he has is all in that one supermarket cart. When you come to think of it, a place to lie and a blanket to keep us warm are all we need, a roof over our head to shun the rain and snow. A family or the company of friends to make our days happy.

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14 Responses to Weekly WordPress Photo Challenge: Home

  1. seeker says:

    I’ve been thinking of the homeless especially when the weather is getting colder.

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  2. bebs1 says:

    And it feels even colder when you are just waiting for the day to end to wake up to the same thing the next day.

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  3. Booted Tales says:

    Beautiful perspective!

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  4. frizztext says:

    portable home …

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  5. bebs1 says:

    It gives new meaning to mobile home.

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  6. viveka says:

    Every country and city has their homeless – I met them everywhere I been – so sad … and think about all the people that has their homes because of war … or disasters. It’s truly a global problem and a massive one. We have them in Sweden, because they have chosen to not end up in the system … because in Sweden nobody has to live on the street – they do it by choice. How sad is that. Great post and thanks for raising the issue.

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  7. bebs1 says:

    It is truly a global problem. Am glad that Sweden has a shelter for everybody and the only ones who don’t take advantage of it do it because it is their choice or they have mental problems. Having people literally living in the streets in the Philippines is not the same as being homeless in NY. Back home the government has more pressing problems than providing shelter for everybody but a progressive, developed country or city like NYC and HongKong where the percentage of rich people per square mile is so high, it boggles the mind.

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  8. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge Home, Love, Valentines Day « 2013 Weekly Photo Challenge Blog

  9. Until today, I can’t bear to post about grand houses and luxuries because I’ve seen so much poverty around me escpecially the Philippines. Home to many are carboard boxes, the streets, a debilated shanty of old broken wood, plastics and metals. Thus I can relate to how you feel. You have a kind heart and it shows in your posts.

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  10. bebs1 says:

    Thank you! It’s one reason why I want to go back. If I can give back, even just a little – put a smile on someone’s face, that will be good enough.

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  11. Vivien says:

    A very sad reality of the homeless people. Feel so sorry for them….very nice insight….

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  12. bebs1 says:

    Thanks Viv!

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  13. bebs1 says:

    I know, a very rich country and yet . . .

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