This is the first Thanksgiving that I’ve spent untraditionally, without turkey or stuffing and away from anywhere called ‘home’. But for the first time in 21 years, I genuinely have so much to give thanks for this year, including today’s lovely new experience in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
I was coming out of Ches’s Famous Fish & Chips – dining for a party of one on cod tongues, when an elderly gentleman asked me from where I was visiting. From there, he gave me a complete tour of the St. John’s Historic Loop, told me a little about his family and friends, and introduced me to his Spaniel pup, Tyler.
To be honest, I was a little taken aback at first. Coming from the large, angry city of Toronto, I was used to maintaining a constant suspicious alertness towards all strangers. When the man beckoned me to take his arm and announced that he was going to give my “the grande tour”, the first thing that flashed before my eyes was my life. But I decided to give it all the benefit of the doubt and put some trust in humanity (and the stereotype that Canadians are friendly). I’m completely glad I went along with it, because not only was I able to learn about the city from the inside, I was also able to make a local friend. So, Mr. Unnamed, if you’re reading this… thank you for taking the time to be a friend!
As I walked back to the hostel via George St., I stopped in a Heritage Shop and purchased a painting of a cod fish dressed in a blue suit. I usually never purchase art (ironic for a student in arts management), but the proceeds go directly towards preservation of Newfoundland & Labrador historic sites, so I splurged. I decided to sit by the port to watch a cargo ship pull in as the sun set… and witnessed a wild seal taking a dump on the docks! That, and a long early morning hike to the top of Signal Hill and Quidi Vidi Village certainly made today a day worthy of being lost in St. John’s.