Tuesday, August 01, 2006
We’re off tomorrow for the land of the Great-Big-Sea!
Why are we going to Newfoundland? It’s funny how often people will ask that when I tell them we’re headed that way. If we were off to Jamaica or Hawaii or Cuba, no one would ask why. Just because our choice of a vacation spot gets us away from this thick, stifling heat instead of towards it, people ask why. Just because there won’t be sandy, white beaches and palm trees (I’m pretty sure – I’m terrible when it comes to geography), people ask why.
Every person I’ve met from the East Coast wants to go back home someday. They’ve usually come to Ontario to find work or to go to school, but there’s something that tugs at their hearts, calling them back to their maritime home. Everyone says it’s beautiful, and I can buy that. But that alone wouldn’t make me want to go, I’ve already seen some breathtaking landscape – Canada never ceases to amaze me. But there’s something about the mystic Newfoundland culture that stirs in me a desire to taste it for myself. I envision walking into pubs to find locals playing the fiddle and dancing jigs, slapping their hands to their knees, women hiking their skirts up as they dance. I envision colourful rows of modest, old houses proudly and stubbornly facing the sea. I envision ports like from a story-book, busy with fishermen and wood crates with ice and lobsters. I imagine kind, warm people – welcoming people.
There is a pride that a Newfoundlander has, that I have yet to see in an Ontarian or a Manitobian or a British Columbian.
They know something.
And we’re going to find out what!