Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Landed in St. John's

I landed in St. John's last night after a 10 hour road trip with Christina (one of the YACC retreat participants) and Karine and Angie (retreat organizers). We made a few stops for lunch, boutique browsing, taking pictures, and McDonald's sundaes. (My darned sweet tooth! Christina gave me a Lactase since my body has forgotten how to digest dairy.) I slept much of the way. I love long car rides. Just like a baby, I'm soothed by the sound of the car engine. We past by miles and miles of wide open spaces and hilly roads, the skies framed by trees on the mountain sides. At one point, I woke up and I thought I was in Jurassic Park. There were no people and no sign of human existence in these spaces. Newfoundland has these spots where you feel like it's just you and nature. The people here call Newfoundland "The Rock". Jamaicans call Jamaica "Jam Rock". I am observing that there are other similarities between Jamaica and Newfoundland including the Newfie codfish which is such a staple in Jamaica (and much of the Caribbean) as well as the "screech" (Jamaican rum) which is so popular here but it's also the spirit of the people. Both people are very warm here and hospitable but they also tell you like it is. No beating around the bush. They come across as very genuine. The older folks always greet you and the young adults (which there seems to be so many around the downtown core) are always ready to help. The other thing about Newfoundland is the accent. It is so distinct and in some parts, you have to listen really closely. It reminds me of Jamaican patois sometimes. There is a Newfie folk song called, "I's the b'y" and I tried to sing a Jamaican version of the same tune with "I's de' bwoy". The Newfoundland accent is sometimes Irish sounding, sometimes French sounding, and reminds me of a Bajan (Barbadian) accent. Also, like Jamaica in some parts, the houses in St. John's are multi-coloured. Yesterday, we drove through an old fishing village in St. John's called Quidi Vidi (pronounced Kiddie Viddie). The roads were so narrow, hilly, steep, and winding kind of like Muirhouse-Top Buxton (St. Ann's, Jamaica) where my mother and her family are from. Last night, Christina and I went to Piatto where I had a cheeseless pizza and she had a salad. This morning, we are off to Sprout, a vegetarian restaurant, for breakfast. Can't wait! I will post more photos really soon!

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