Friday, August 10, 2007

Nova Scotia

When I arrived at Halifax International Airport it was strange because for the first time in many flight arrivals she wasn't there to greet me. I spent the next day or two hanging around BB, a sleepy little hometown that winds its way through the middle of nowhere, disturbed only by the hundreds of cars that use the main road as a throughway between Halifax and somewhere else.

This homecoming gave me a chance to check up on my old friend Brown, who plays basketball like they did in the NBA before black people were allowed to play, like you see sometimes in those old video clips, with underhanded granny moves. He was uncannily effective with that stuff. We’d been friends about 15 years by then, ever since grade three when we got into a fight over which Beatles album was the greatest. (Abby Road, obviously.) After that we started calling ourselves the 2 Stooges and built a relationship by going around school and making fun of everyone we knew.

Brown had recently graduated from Golf Course Management School in PEI and was back working for a golf course in Dartmouth for the summer. He was gladder to see me than I expected; I guess he was preparing himself for a somewhat dull summer with no one too exciting around to hang with. We always got along really well because we have the same sense of humour, which consists of acting like fools around each other and making each other laugh in the most mundane of circumstances. His presence made up for what I’d just left behind.

After a day or two of sitting around with Brown, doing not much of anything, I went to the second of many orientations that were to prepare me for hosting a St. Lucian forestry officer in my parents’ home. There I met Nigel, who would be my counterpart for the duration of the program, meaning he would live and work in BB with me for 2 1/2 months, then I would live with him in St. Lucia for the next 3 months.

By the time the Nova Scotian posse met the St. Lucians, the latter group of Nigel, MC, Li and Zany, had already spent the week together in an apartment in Halifax and were pretty close.

The one on one conversation that weekend was a little awkward between Canadians and Lucians, I guess because of the cultural differences, and the accents. But as a group conversation flowed well, and everybody laughed a lot. The initial conversation between Nigel and myself was no exception, and we kind of stared at each other for a bit, then nodded at each other, said, "Hey, how's it going?" then the ever so timid barrage of questions began. What do you eat? What's your weather like this time of year? What music do you like? Brothers? Sisters? How old are you? What do you do for fun? and so on. I was surprised to learn that he, at the age of 24, had two kids aged 4 and 1, with two different mothers, to neither of whom he was married.

During the first orientation with just the Canadians, we were told that Lucians are not heavy drinkers, but Nigel's biggest interest turned out to be "drinking beer," which he pronounced be-yare. He didn't play sports, didn't really play an instrument, but just enjoyed his beer. We had also been told that Lucians don't swear, but I could tell right away that wasn't true, especially in Nigel's case. We'd been told that Lucians are very religious, but Nigel hadn't set foot in a church for 14 years.

The conversation was slow and awkward, and we kind of just took each other in and sized each other up. He was about six feet tall, maybe 170 pounds, had a huge toothy white smile, and a mischievous look in his eyes. I soon learned that he liked to say funny things, like when he bought a 'push-up' ice cream that used a plastic stick to push orange sherbet to the surface, he broke the stick in the process and grinning a ridiculous child-like grin said in his heavy Caribbean accent, "I broke my poosh-up." He spent money at a ridiculous rate, ate a lot of food, drank almost every day, and ate, drank and lived forestry, for which he worked as a conservationist in St. Lucia. I liked him right away.

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Comments:
Benji,
You make it sound like you were in exile in TO. Greyhound buses *shudder* what a way to go home. Skateboards would be faster.

Nice little memory though of the last time you were there. Last time I was in Nova Scotia I was aways up in Cape North beautiful land all around though.

Good travels and read ya when you get around to it.

Peace

TWM
 
Have a great time, mate. The boobs on my blog will be waiting for your most excellent opinions when you return.
 
Nigel sounds like an interesing fellow.

Abbey Road?

Hmm.

I would have to go with Revolver or Rubber Soul.
 
I envy all people who work so close to the land, they always lead such lusty lives, for lack of a better word. Your experience serves your writing well.

Golf course management... I dispise golf, but that sure sounds like a job with lots of time for writing and blogging. Thanks...

Yeah, things could be better, here. It's always cool to hear about options.
 
I adore the East Coast of Canada. Although all of Canada is known for being people defined by their landscape, to a certain extent, it is Maritimers who seem to really get the most out of it.
 
Got an award for you. One more.
 
Abby Road? Was that bait to get me into a heated debate?

Nigel sounds like a character. I'm guessing this story is going to go on?
 
See you when you get settled.
 
Lusty lives!

I love this Eric.

Anyway, have fun Bejibopper!

I kinda like annoying travel. I took busses around Europe. They were good to sleep on. And like a moving party.
 
TWM: exile eh? something like that, but it was a good one. i never stopped longing for home though, or calling this place home.

MissSmack: so far so great, looking forward to my next visit at your space, soon i hope.

UTMG: for that opinion, 8-yr-old me would have had to kick your ass. fortunately i've mellowed to the point where i just look at you blankly and say perplexedly, "really?" i'd say those two albums were the start of an incredible run that got better right up until john started wondering about paul's sleeping patterns.

eric: golf course management seems to involve a lot of working hours actually. he gets to be outdoors, and he loves the game, so it makes sense. he just hates the pesticides.

PP: some folks out your way might disagree, but it's true that out here we've lived and, more recently, died by our environment. these natural gas pigs are pissing me off of late, both the local ones and the ottawa thieves. anyway, don't get me started. it remains a spectacularly beautiful place, and i've been swimming in it, a lot.
 
Eric: Awesome blogger guy, sweet! thanks buddy. i will try to get that along with my original blogger award up asap, well, sometime after sept. 1.

Trev: I should really do a poll. i swear ultra toast was just being provocative with his 'choices'. what say you? white album? (warning, that opinion is what got the last guy's ass kicked.) anyhoo, there is more to come for this story, too damn much more, but eventually it will roll onward.

BBE: absolutely, i can't wait. it's been a mighty long time since the missus and i have had a place to call our own. in fact, we never have.

Lynn: the older i get the more i dread it, yet, thanks to the relativity of time each long trip goes faster. i had some hellish greyhound experiences in the states, which i will post about at some point too, but also some great ones. here's it all seems tamer and better organized, on the whole.
 
Island people can be fun.
They got a lotta love.

Ivan
 
Nigel sounds like my kind of friend.
 
Benji, you poor guy! I hate moving with a green a purple passion!!

I hope your appearance yesterday at PP indicates that you're settling in.
 
It's time to make massive asses of ourselves by debating the Beatles, fellows.

Abby Road: Not very adventurous, musically speaking. Choosing this as your favorite album seems a lot like declaring yourself an unattached political moderate ;)

Rubber Soul: I respect it because it and Help! were the albums where the Beatles started becoming artists rather than teen sensations. But there are still a lot of "teen sensation" songs. (Michelle and Girl are pretty awesome though).

Revolver: My favorite song is "I'm Only Sleeping", but this isn't my favorite album. Maybe too many annoying songs.

White Album: Probably has the most "awesome" Beatles songs. But that is because it has the most songs in general. My problem with this album is it doesn't flow very well. If they could somehow restructure it so it did, it would be a great album.

Sgt. Pepper's: My favorite, I would say, if you hooked my balls up to an electrical shocking machine. Not because of the songs (some aren't all that good on their own), but because of the cohesion. They weren't just writing songs, they were crafting an album here.
 
Ivan: peninsula people too.

JR: he was a good one for a while.

TC: moving sucks but the new location is exactly what i want. it'll be a while before i'm 'settled' though.

TR: Abbey Road is the perfect album. every song is perfect, melodious, and beautiful, and what you say about pepper's is exactly how i feel about abbey, it's a whole album, cohesive, flowing, and flawless. Sergeant Pepper's is runner up because it was so incredibly innovative.

yep, massive asses.
 
I've never been to Nova Scotia, but I was born on the extreme side of the country, on Vancouver Island. Can't get much farther away from NS than that, and still be in Canada :-) I have a friend who lives in NS, and loves it.

My favorite is "White Album". My goodness, were you folks even born when these albums were recorded? Heh, heh.
 
Hi. My name is Lara Berch. I have just launched a new website with step by step art tutorials. I was wondering if it's possible to exchange links with you. http://www.laraberch.com
Thank you very much for your time.
Sincerely
Lara
 
I picked Revolver because it was so ahead of it's time.

There really are some fantastic songs on there. Eleanor Rigby is one of McCartney's greatest. It's as strong lyrically as it is musically wihth it's beautiful, haunting orchestration.

Tomorrow Never Knows is one of Lennon's best. It's about 30 years ahead of it's time - all that backwards guitar that sounds like a flock of screeching pterodactyls. Amazing - considering it was made in '66.
 
My favourite Beatles album is 'Attack of the Killer Beatles'
 
Lara sounds like a handfull of fireworks stuffed down the trousers. Whoo!

Meanwhile, how's the trip going? Well, by the sounds of your silence.

Anyway, when you get a moment, check out the new challenge over at TTCE dashboard. I don't have time to write an entire piece on my own so I'm reaching out to the Clifton Experience brethren to unite with open palms.

Ooroo and safe travels.
 
Josie: no, none of us were born then. but as for me, the beatles were my introduction to really good music. i was way more into them than either of my parents.

Lara Berch: you're moving a little too fast for me.

UTMG: Yeah, I like Revolver too, but it got better from there.

Berk: are you sure that wasn't Beetles?

Kaufman: I'll check it out asap. Things are well as per my latest post.
 
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