Back in the day when I was going to jewellery school I had a classmate who was originally from Iran. Or Persia as he would say. I can’t remember his name off hand but let’s call him Shazam. I think it rhymed with that somehow. He told me a story that I still remember to this day.
When he and his family very first immigrated to Vancouver they were staying in a low cost downtown hotel. You can well imagine it wasn’t in the best part of town. Each night he would go for a walk in the neighbourhood to familiarise himself with the community as well as practise reading the street signs and local business awnings. As he tells the story each night Shazam would be greeted in a friendly manner by these very pretty women walking along the sidewalks. He thought that the city was so friendly with all these very pretty girls who would say hello to him every night. Not speaking any English Shazam thought Vancouver was an amazing and extraordinary place filled with warm and agreeable people. It was several months before he realised they were prostitutes. But he said the memory of all the nightly hellos and “pretty ladies” still made him smile and made his introduction to a new city much more pleasant and less lonely for him. The area he was staying in is home to our local higher priced streetwalkers who do look very glamorous in the streetlights.
I thought at the time and still think that this story is incredibly sweet. I can just picture a young teenage boy setting out each night in a strange and foreign place and in his total innocence taking comfort and solace in these somewhat questionable ladies and their lipsticked hellos.
I think it must have been magical.