You’ve heard of the old adage, “I just took one wrong turn in life”. That almost happened to us.
On a family vacation to Philadelphia, we decided to stay in a hotel across the Delaware River in New Jersey so that we would feel less ripped off. Our destination was Cherry Hill, NJ. We were armed with our detailed Google Map. But when you’re driving on an expressway at 80km an hour trying to keep the pace with traffic, you don’t have the luxury to stop and say, “Wait, let’s just make sure we’re following these instructions right.” The navigator is reading the instructions at breakneck speed to get to the next milestone which is only 0.2mi away…. You just gotta go where you think you’re supposed to go.
That’s what landed us on the wrong side of the tracks. Instead of veering left, we veered right, and we found ourselves driving down dark streets, with dilapidated and boarded up homes. We stopped at a 7/11 to ask for directions, and our gut told us this probably wasn’t the best idea, but we figured it was better to ask than to drive around this place for an hour trying to figure it out on our own. In our heads, we thought half-jokingly, “Let’s just hope we don’t get shot.” We eventually found ourselves out of there and realized that we took the wrong ramp at the fork, but nobody in this town had heard of where we were needing to go.
And then we read this story in Rolling Stone online, and we understood why. When you live in Camden, NJ, it’s probably all you’ll ever know – besides prison or death. Camden is one of the most dangerous cities in America, riddled with drugs and guns, abandoned even by their own municipal police force. There’s a city with no hope… and then there’s Camden; it’s that bad.
So today, we are especially grateful for the fine city of Toronto, where you can (generally) feel pretty safe, even when we’re delivering our moving boxes at night!