Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In a Strange City

I've been asked a question by my sponsor: what would you do if you were stranded in an unknown city with no money or resources? How would you eat? Where would you sleep? What about the weather?

I've been in lots of strange cities before, and have even been stranded once or twice when travel arrangements failed to work out as they had been planned. But I've never been in this situation... and hope never to be either.

That said, what would I do? Well, I suppose the first thing is I would keep myself from going into a panic. Nothing is too big to manage, if you can just keep your head. So, from there I would have to figure out who seemed to be trustworthy, which is harder in a strange city than it would be in surroundings that are similar to one's home. But, I figure I'd look for a place where there were lots of people, find those that seemed approachable, and seek help from someone. If I could manage to borrow a few buck, or at the very least manage to make a phone call to my family, that would make the whole situation look a lot less bleak. And, I would be very careful to get the contact details of the kind soul who helped, in hopes that I could pay them back when I reached home.

But if I couldn't manage to borrow or beg for a few dollars, then I suppose my next step would be to look for a spot where I could do a few hours of work and earn a few dollars. Perhaps it would be hard work, but that would be fine, as it would get things moving in the right direction. And, if we're talking about a city, there are usually odd jobs to be done.

For a place to sleep, I would probably seek a spot that was well-lit, and not overly secluded. While secluded spots have a feeling of safety, it isn't a good spot to be if one does run into trouble. In general, it seems to be safer in a spot where other people will notice if something starts to go wrong. I've done my share of sleeping in airports and train stations, so I've experienced this sort of thing before. While secluded feels safe at first, it isn't necessarily the sort of spot you want to be in if you do meet with unpleasant experiences.

As for weather, there are always public buildings that are open during the day -- libraries, train and bus stations or bus stops. And, in most cities, there are sheltered areas in public parks. So, that would help with the weather.

When it comes to food, I can manage a day or two without food, if I can find water to drink. Public water fountains are readily available in some cities, but not all. Usually, finding water isn't a problem, but finding clean water might be. With food, in a city there is always going to be something to eat, even if it is someone else's waste. I don't like thinking about it, but fact is, I suppose one can find something to fill the stomach, if the situation becomes dire.

On june 28, USA Network's Burn Notice is going to get underway. CIA Operative will find himself in just the sort of situation described. I have a feeling he'll have a much cleverer and more exciting way of dealing with it than my ideas here. I'll be on the lookout, to see what plan he has to trump mine!

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