I Thought Canadian Bears Were Fluffy And Harmless

My first camping happened in Vancouver when I travelled on my first Canadian summer in 1998. I was a neophyte in Canada and when I lost my job as a Live-in Caregiver, I decided to see my aunt in B.C.  We felt we have no right to even sit on expensive restaurants. But we find ways to enjoy Canada even if we still were not as free as Canadians.

When I arrived at my aunt's place, I was shocked to find her living in an extremely dilapidated house where grass were sprouting on its roof. The floors were cracked like it has endured years of earthquake and abused. I am sorry to tell this but she has been dead for a couple of years. This story and adventure also teaches us real life experiences of how some of us or me, live in Canada.

It was so dirty and the dwelling is no longer conducive to live is what I am saying. My aunt was old and was living with an adopted daughter or maybe son because she was like me. I guess she was even better by not being addressed as, "Sir." Well, I don't want to spend a minute correcting what eyes other people have. Something my roommate will readily dismiss as, "You can't blame them!" kind of reason.

My aunt's condition bothered me as I was expecting her to live comfortably. Or maybe I was expecting too much for people living in Canada to have a perfect life. But my aunt's was too much, seemed like she wasn't properly looked and cared into by her adopted daughter. I guess being old, she is stubborn as well. Inside her fridge were bones wrapped in cling wrap mixed by frozen meats. There were cats freely loitering her house and big rats dashing into secluded holes.

I had no one to talk to because I'd be interfering and I was just there for a couple of days or a week. She was happy to see me though and took me sightseeing after we slept in the forest with my fellow vacationing Caregivers for a night of camping. At the camping site, my aunt was fearful and restless and kept telling me about being eaten by bears. I laughed and wondered how a bear can eat us? I was completely ignorant having been in Canada for a few months and haven't actually seen a bear, I mean a real bear all my life. I was thinking about the bear given on birthdays that are small,  squeezy and fluffy. No way to eat a human until a trip in Jasper Park many years down the road. No I wasn't eaten. It was a simple encounter.

My aunt was involved on a serious car accident that made her physically weak. But she showed me around Vancouver Island and even at Victoria Park. I was also able to see my college friend, an Engineer and spent some time drinking in a bar. He was a college best buddy and had a good life in Vancouver as I saw it.

But my aunt's sorry state made me aware that Canada is not immune to difficult living.  However, she owned that property. There were needles on the streets of downtown Vancouver so I was never enticed moving there. I was thinking that if I had the right to intervene for the welfare of my aunt, I'd be calling the government to keep her safe. But it wasn't my call.  There is no way anyone would live on a dilapidated house and still be happy. I think she wasn't happy but has no choice but to live there and get used to living in such a poor environment.

She died a couple of years back. From that vacation as a newcomer, I never got to see her again. But the bear reminds me of her. A Canadian beast who crossed the highway on my way to Jasper Park when I was already a landed immigrant. The bear's walk was cute and slow as it disappeared in a nearby forest.

Canada...got a lot to explore.


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