One of the cheesiest, and possibly also most alarming, things Antho ever told me, was the time he excitedly described to me a homeless couple he had seen- while they were both quite obviously living on the street, destitute and broke, they were clearly and unquestionably infatuated with each other and seemed beyond content despite a situation most of us would never consider a remotely tolerable turn of fate. He saw it as a poetic image, a testament to the undying power of love to overcome any and all challenges despite any situation it might find itself in... I saw it as a bit of a terrifying indicator for just how low he was willing to let his standards of living fall so long as he had me tagging along to bolster him, but I digress. He's a dreamer at heart, a fantastic, whimsical, flashy theatrical type who was raised on a steady and heavy diet of Hollywood films while I tend to be the logistician who grumbles, gets a migraine, and sorts through the realities of the matter like some impression of an adult in an effort to sway the tides of time in my favor. Homelessness, while not something I consider a desirable or even romantic notion, is an inarguable reality of modern society. I've seen, and interacted with, homeless people in Japan as well as the United States, and witnessed their camps while in Korea... Each country approaches things in their own ways, and each homeless person's story is unique, too, so it's not as though a simplistic blanket approach could ever work for everyone. I do have to say that I rather like Japan's approach, which seems a respectful distance and non-interference. When police want to evict a homeless encampment on public land, they're forced to abide by the same procedural processes as in an eviction. Most homeless are left to sleep in peace, and the time I did stop and offer a hot coffee and a sandwich to a homeless man in Tokyo, he was shocked by the gesture and asked incredulously where I had come from. He'd made me laugh on a difficult morning, so I figured it an equitable exchange, but this does make me wonder how far indifference stretches before it turns to a cold shoulder.
All photos in this post were taken by Antho!