Trip to Olney

Every time I leave North Philadelphia, I experience a culture shock. I have yet to comprehend or accept the diversity and extremes that the city offers.  I ventured to Olney this past Wednesday for an interview and was rather intrigued by what I saw. First I learned that Olney was a train stop away from Logan, another area that I mentioned in my research paper, an area where Cambodians originally settled. Getting off the Broad Street Line, I walked up the stairs to find a street that did not look much different from N. Broad, however the people, they were different. I saw a mixed crowd awaiting the bus, which took an hour to come. Boarding the crowded 18 towards Fox Chase, I left the train station unsure of what to expect when I got off. Multitasking writing ideas for questions to ask during the interview, I looked around at the people on the bus. I watched as a man took up two seats, one for himself, the other for his bag while a pregnant woman stood, clutching the rail. I watched as a hispanic and a black man stood in the door way, riding the ground through the bumps and stops. Here I thought, maybe this area wouldn’t be too different from New York or even North Philadelphia. The bus stopped and I got off on Olney and 5th. Looking around, I realized that I was wrong. Olney was far different from North Philly. There was an African hair braiding store next to a Korean law office. A Cambodian consulate standing in the middle of residential homes. An Asian gift store on a block with a Korean hair salon. I’m not sure if my personal life or school work will ever lead me to again to Olney, but the trip did open my eyes to the idea that Philadelphia has a lot more to offer.

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