The Back Alleys

By Christina Kim - November 07, 2015


Are you afraid of the dark?
Are you afraid of the unknown?
Are you just simply, afraid of being Afraid?

Fear is truly man's biggest weakness.
Everyone has something that they fear about, deep down inside their heart.
Something that only they know.

When you walk past a back alley, you will take a look at it, wondering if it is a possible shortcut to get to the other side to reach your destination in a shorter time.
Or perhaps you will just take a quick glance, noting that it is a back alley and continue to walk on.
You may not even look at it sometimes; perhaps just a side glance and you don't even take notice.
You know it is a back alley, just by looking at it.

You rarely would turn, and decide to walk into the back alley.
Unless, for the following reasons:-
1. To explore; either to find out whether it is a dead end, a shortcut, or just to be off the beaten path.
2. You know it IS a shortcut and you use it regularly.
3. You are running away from enemies

It is most likely that No.2 ranks the highest among the choices, simply because of the Informed decision that we are making.
We know, we are familiar.

No.1 and 3 are more often than not, that part of taking risk.

Now, why, is it that we are so afraid of the back alleys, if we have never even been there?

Of course there are the stories of mugging and also the numerous occasions we have been told not to use shortcuts or paths; which usually involve the back alley (how else could you get from one side of the building to the other? That is, unless you're Spidey), because danger could lurk there.
Dangers which are often led back to the former; of mugging and stories of crimes which have more than often taken place in that usual spot of choice.
The criminals just seem to love the back alleys.

That was what shaped our perception of the back alleys.

They are dangerous.
They are lonely.
They are isolated.
Nobody goes in there.
It is a perfect spot for crime.
Nobody knows what is in the back alley.
They are dark and mysterious.

All of that just simply points to one thing; the back alleys, are simply a representation of the UNKNOWN.

We are taught to rarely, or even, venture into the unknown.

But, if we never venture into the unknown, how would we ever find the answer why it is unknown?
How would people know?

Successful people do not stay in their comfort zones to get to where they are today; had they not venture into a new territory.
That new territory could be the Unknown for them.
A place they have never stepped into.
Something they have never done.

Sure, it is a risk, but it is still a step they took, into somewhere they do not know.

It is not the back alleys they stepped into; it could be simple another route they saw which led elsewhere.

The back alleys; are they really the unknown?

Why is there always that perception about back alleys?

They are often treated with such doubt and avoided, which is the very reason they were desolated in the first place.

But think of it, are back alleys really that scary?

Are back alleys truly the breeding ground for the perfect crime scene?
Are back alleys always, that place that is synonymous with danger?

In that case, why do back alleys even exist, in the first place?

Why do we even build, or have these back alleys, everywhere, if they are just putting our safety at risk?

Simple; back alleys were not built for nothing.
They are not stand alone entities.

You cannot have something defined as the back, without a front.

Back alleys are just that.
They are that part where the back of the shops, homes and generally, buildings are connected, if you think about it.

The back alleys are where people throw out the trash, or keep things hidden from public's view at the front.

That is where things are also often than not, discarded.

Out from the shops, homes and buildings.

People don't generally walk into the back alleys, though in the past, back alleys were wider and people do go to the back of the shops and houses to collect their stuffs from house maids, or take away food, directly, from the kitchen.

Kitchens, store rooms, bathrooms are all, usually, located at the back of a shop or a house.
The back of one's place is often considered one of the most isolated area.
It is where the unwanted are located.
It is often concealed from front view.
It is where people don't want you to go.

It is where the secrets are kept.

It is as though they are unimportant, yet at the same time, they are one of the most important part of the entire layout.
Don't you think?

Imagine a house or a shop without the back section?
Or without an alley that the back door opens out to?

It is hard to imagine what it would be like, to be without a place to store some of your groceries, or even to retreat to when you want to get away from the action/drama at the front section of the house.
Worse, without a back alley, there would be no proper ventilation and privacy would even be compromised.

Can you even imagine not having a back alley?

That's the overall functionality of the back alley, besides its obvious way as a fire escape, and sometimes even that connecting link from one lane to another.
Even if it leads to a dead end, at least, there is an alley, to begin with.
You could plant some flowers in that empty space.

Back alleys are representation of the unsung heroes or the forgotten roles in our world.


They do their jobs, they are there for a reason and they continue to be there, to witness scenes of actions in the day (where kitchens are bustling and cleaning takes place; where water are poured out onto the alley ways in some places) and at night, it is transformed into a twilight zone as people lock up, put their trash on the alley and then move back to the front.

It is that part which is often overlooked at first sight when one looks, or even thinks of a back alley.

It is often disregarded, because of that whole dark perception looming over it, due to it having been labeled as one of crime's favorite spot.

It continues to be that part of one's daily lifestyle; that silent observer of the morning and another ignored observer in the dead of the night.
It could be the spot for crimes, but yet, it is also the eyewitness.
It is where the cops would look for clues immediately when a crime is reported.
It is where the clues lie, as the back alley serves as the perfect alibi.

Just like the people or even things in our lives, where we often forget to pay credit despite its long serving time in our lives.

We always see them, just like the back alleys, but we walk past them without giving them much thought or that much attention.
Yet they continue to do their jobs, every single day in various parts of our lives.

The people who sweep on the roads, the garbage collector, the janitor, the one who opens the door for you at the shopping malls (in certain countries, they do), the one who patrols your neighborhood at night, the security guards at the shopping malls, or even your residential area (though these are the ones you're more likely to remember), the one who installs the fibre optic cables underground while you were watching television on your couch so that you will have better Internet connection speed, the one who trims the trees at the park and on the roads, the one who draws the lines on the road, the ones who make the direction sign boards, and the list goes on.

How many of these people do we actually know?

How many of them do we even think of?

Maybe we walk past them each and every day, and sometimes we don't take a second look.
Perhaps we do, but they may be covered in grease and grub and people would always shy away from them.
Some would even think they are potential criminals.

We don't know them, we don't even know what they do.

Even if we do, sometimes, we don't talk to them much for fear of leaking too much information and then put ourselves at risk of danger.
Such is the evolution of the world these days, that everything is of risk.

These people are often the least mentioned; not to say the credit to which they deserved.

These are the back alleys in our lives.

They seemed forgotten, ignored, yet they are needed to be there.

If the garbage goes uncollected, or the road is not cleaned up, or even if there are no lines on the road, what would it be like?

You can't imagine the chaotic mess it could cause.

We don't see these people sometimes, because they work silently in the background and out of everyone's sight.
They were meant to do that, anyway.

The security guards at the shopping malls were not meant to make small talk or even follow you around.
They are supposed to watch the overall situation at the mall, and sometimes through the surveillance camera to ensure that everything is in order.
We may not even know how many of them are actually in the shopping malls; in view or in the room.

However, when something happens, it is always the security guards we will look for.

These are the back alleys; these are the ones in the background.
They exist, truly they do, and we NEED them to be there.
Yet at the same time, we don't know them.
Sure, we know of their existence, because of everything that has already been done and made available for us.
Just like the front of the shop.

We enjoyed the convenience, which has been laid out for us, because of all these people.
We don't know, we don't really bother either sometimes.

When things don't work out, however, then we remember.

This is the nature of life; sadly.

How often have we overlooked the crucial things which make things work in general?

I'm not just referring to people alone.

There are also the processor running inside your computer; the circuitry behind the air conditioner which keeps your house cool, and basically, almost everything else that keeps our life in order.

We can sometimes be too obsessed with what is only seen with the naked eye, that we forgot what is right behind it.

What keeps things running.
WHO keeps them running.

Unless there is a need to get there, then only will we think of the back alleys.

Think about it.

Who and what are the back alleys in YOUR LIFE?

The back alleys are not just there for trash and to do all the dirty work.
They define the entire layout of a place.
They are your escape route when you need to run from fire.

They should be given that credit once in a while.
They never ask for it either; they know their roles.
That is in the background.
They know they are unimportant as well.
They are not given much of the light; sometimes not even a glint.
They are aware and that's where they kept their silence.

Just like the back alleys.

Back alleys are not useless.

Back alleys are not all that scary.

It is time to look at back alleys, in a different light.

Take a look and explore the back alleys in your life.

You may find more gems than you thought you would.

Don't only look at them when they are a pile of destruction, and only realize their values when they are gone.


Give them the credit they deserve.

Even though they are only the Back Alleys.

Without the Back Alleys, there would never be a route, to escape...

*Author's Note: 
This is not a sponsored/promotional post, and solely based on author's personal expenses, opinions and preferences and do not represent the general public. 
Experiences vary from one individual to another.
You do not have to agree with me.

This is based on my personal experience and is told in a subjective manner, entirely from my perspective.

Photos/Videos all belong to me and are copyrighted.

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