May 22 by Indra
From witnessing a crime to being homeless for a night, I have experienced what it's like to spend a night alone in Vancouver.
When I first arrived in Vancouver around eight months ago, I knew nobody in the city, no family members or emergency contacts and I was locked out of my apartment. I had nowhere to go and the night was freezing. I contacted the police because I thought it qualified for an emergency or at least they would give me suggestions. But when the operator picked up, they told me to call back if I got mugged. I told them that was probably what was going to happen and they hung up.
So then, I went to a couple of hotels because I thought that was a safe bet to spend the cold night. I got kicked out of many of them including the Ramada. I have kind of a small beard now and people give me weird looks, but back then I was heading towards a mountain man beard so I wasn't well recieved. It was a weird night and many strange things happened. As I was walking along the street searching for my next hangout, I saw a young couple fighting. It looked like the boyfriend was troubling the girl and she was telling him to stop following her. Stalker alert!
I didn't want to interfere but I didn't want to see her end up in the news the next day either. So I jumped right in and told the guy to relax and stop bothering her. I thought his immedieate reaction would be to tell me to mind my own business but he starts complaining about her to me. The next thing I know, they both start complaining about each other to me, as if I was the mediator. I tried my best to calm them down but it wasn't working out. The girl then walked away and the guy looked like he was about to follow her again but I stopped him and he went the other way angrily.
After that, I went to the Fairmount Hotel. There were many lost souls of the night like myself in there. Not all of them looked homeless. Anyway, they have such a big lobby with comfy chairs so I sat there trying to sleep till the morning but I just couldn't. I was just fiddling with my phone when I saw this huge guy with a hoodie enter the lobby. He looked suspicious and was standing near the cash register. Then what I saw shocked me. He reached out and grabbed some money from the front desk. I was shocked nobody was around to see that even though it was 2.30 am.
I decided to take some action and tried to stop him. I told him he was better than that and stealing was not the way. He asked me if I had some money and I said no. He then reached in and took the money anyway and his other hand was in his pocket. I was afraid maybe he had gun or a knife in there. I still wanted to stop him so I went and found a hotel staff who was around the corner and quickly explained to him.
By the time we reached there, he was making his escape so we began chasing after him but he got away. I called the cops and told them what happened and gave a description of him. I called them again after a few hours and they told me someone matching my description had been caught and I finally felt a bit relieved. Even though I didn't plan on playing the hero that night it kinda happened accidentally...but things could have gone sideways. I could have gotten shot if he really did have a gun. I'm just glad nothing bad happened.
Anyway that was my crazy second night in Vancouver.