The part of Hastings Street running through Vancouver’s downtown eastside area is considered a rougher area of the city. The crowds at the bus stops tend to be more mixed and unpredictable than elsewhere.
It was a dark, grey, drizzly day and as I pulled the bus toward the curb, the people at the stop seemed relieved to finally be able to get out of the miserable weather.
One fellow that shuffled onto the bus was a little smaller than the rest. He was bundled in a heavy jacket, baseball cap pulled over his eyes, his face retreated deep into the shadow. As he tossed in his fare I noticed a guitar case slung over his back.
“So, you’re a musician?”
He stopped and looked at me. “Jes. I am.”
“What kind of music do you play?”
His penetrating look evaluated me before he answered. “Flamenco. It’s a Espanish music. Not rock. Played with a pick. God gave me ten fingers to use. You know? Flamenco?”
I nodded. He continued into the bus. I had learned something.