Doug Bruns

Gentlemen of Baltimore, Mohammed

In Life on June 14, 2012 at 6:00 am


Another story from my 2005/06 project on homelessness in Baltimore. I heard a lot of tales, tall and otherwise, while doing this project. Mohammad’s was one of the more unusual.

“I’m going to legally change my name to Mark. I have trouble at the airport with the name Mohammed. Only trouble is, I don’t have the money to run the ad in the newspaper announcing the name change. Somebody  told me that was necessary.” I asked if I should call him Mohammed or Mark? He said to call him Mark. He was kicked out of the Marines. “Officially, I was kicked out for the inability to expand effort authentically. I think it is just the corps’ way of getting rid of people.” He said he had some civil rights problems that he hoped to straighten out soon. After that, he wanted to go back to Asia and teach English. “After living in Alaska, I went to China. I taught there for three years and seven months. Some of the time I was in Liaoning Province and some of the time I was in Heilongjiang Province. My life in China was simple. I had a girl friend, a three-room apartment and the food was fresh with lots of fish. Not like the food here, fried and bad for you.”

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