Posted in (All Posts), Homelessness, O Canada 🇨🇦

“Homeless” Undercover Police Officer is Shocked by Treatment from Strangers

homeless-on-street-1024x768We have a quite a serious problem with homelessness in Vancouver, Canada. It’s something that I think about every day. Most afternoons as I cross an important intersection downtown on my way home from work, I pass by a homeless man who sits on the pavement with his hand out. If I say, “I’m sorry” because I don’t have any coins on me (I don’t like to carry cash.) The man says, “Thank you, dear.” Recently, I decided to make more of an effort to have some cash in my pocket so I could help him. He asked me if I had any potato chips a couple of weeks back. I took a mental note.

Two days ago, I slowed down as I passed him. I removed my sunglasses and I squatted down so we could speak eye-to-eye. I asked him his name. Charlie then told me his story. Continue reading ““Homeless” Undercover Police Officer is Shocked by Treatment from Strangers”

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Posted in (All Posts), Culture, O Canada 🇨🇦, Personal Anecdotes, Travel

That Time I Was Kidnapped in Venezuela

Read about one of the scariest experiences of my life! I’m certainly much more aware of my naiveté and I’m a little more cautious these days.

Survivor@37

When I was a college co-ed, I decided to take my white bread Canadian self down to South America with my then-boyfriend Adam.  The idea was that I’d broaden my horizons and see some of the world during the semester break.  First stop:  Caracas, Venezuela.

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Here’s an excerpt from the Lonely Planet [guide to discovering] South America on a Shoestring ©1997. (Yes, I still have it.)

DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES

Venezuela is a relatively safe country in which to travel, though robbery is becoming a problem. Common crime is increasing in the large cities. Caracas is by far the most dangerous place in the country, and you should take care while strolling about the streets, particularly at night. Keep your passport and money next to the skin, and your camera, if you are carrying one, hidden in a pack or bag. Venturing into poor shanty-towns is asking for trouble.  Avoid police…

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