Saturday, July 26, 2008

I love Americans!


I particularly love Americans travelling in Canada.

But more than any other tourists on the planet I just adore the Americans travelling in Newfoundland.

And there are a lot more than usual this year. So I get a chance to talk to many of them.

Like tonight. I treated myself to a dinner of plate sized (I exaggerate a little!) scallops in my favourite restaurant in a gorgeous town called Holyrood and shared a smile and a hello with some lilting Deep-South accented Americans at the table across from me.

Later I go for a long walk on the magnificent boardwalk with the Wonder Dog and on the way back meet them again as they take in the beautiful evening air and the sunset over the ocean.

They are missing their dogs terribly, they tell me, even though they have a person dog-sitting them, right in their own home. He especially is lonesome for them, as he communicates on an almost mystical level with dogs as he demonstrated with mine.

So they happily played with Ansa and it turns out they are from Winston Salem in North Carolina and two hours later we finish our conversation.

It encompassed archaeology (they had been on some digs), health care, climate change and, yes, politics. To hear their heartbreak over the last eight years of the mismanagement of their country and their barely expressed ‘hope’ for ‘change’ would make a stone weep.

But more than anything it was the personal details of our lives that bonded us: beloved granddaughters, rescue dogs, a dream of getting off the grid, driving smaller cars, foreign movies and we truly touched souls when we shared our stories of having one troubled daughter out there in the world estranged from family, both with the same name co-incidentally. It eased the pain for the three of us, just sharing that very personal information. And we said this.

And we parted like family. Hugging.

I truly love travelling-in-Newfoundland-Americans.

9 comments:

  1. I am glad that your experience was so positive, because there are so many of the other kind around. You must have struck gold. May I add to that, that my American daughter is also one of the more agreeable types of Americans, but I always thought that was because she had a Dutch mother. I see now that there are all sorts of agreeable Americans who flock out into the world and are good ambassadors to their country. That's a very hopeful sign.

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  2. I think, Irene, that it takes a wordly, genuinely curious and non-insular type of American to make it to Newfoundland. It is so far off the beaten track!
    All that I have met here have been extremely intelligent and hungry for knowledge of how we live and also very quiet.
    I know the other kind too. They would come to Ireland in droves and demand hamburgers in loud brash voices and roar out questions (in Cork) like did we know the Kellys of Dublin.
    Cringe-makers. Perhaps they don't travel anymore?
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Nice that you struck a chord so quickly and were able to share so much. I don't notice many of the loud brash Yanks in Belfast but maybe if I was running a B&B it would be a bit different! I didn't notice many loudmouths in the States either but probably they're less common in the big cities.

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  4. it's a big country. we have all kinds. i'm glad you encountered the good kind. and i'm particularly glad to hear they're from winston-salem, which is viewed as sort of Redneck country.

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  5. Nick:
    I did run into them in South Carolina a few times but Americans travelling here are a breath of fresh air and give me great hope for our neighbour to the South.
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    Laurie:
    others I encountered were from Georgia, Texas, California and Mississipi. Many are curious as to how they can come here if the GOPS "win" the election, whilst being very aware it can be stolen again.
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    XO
    WWW

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  6. It's good to hear of such pleasant representatives of "my new country"**** ;-)

    Back in the UK, any American tourists I met were always very polite, usually in a hurry to get to the next historic stop on their itinerary, sometimes annoyed at the lack of facilities in their hotel, but apart from that, not actually brash or matching the old stereotype - which I suspect belongs to another era entirely. A few early loud tourists bred a myth which brought those who followed a very bad press. ;-)

    I can honestly say, that since I've lived here I haven't encountered any native who could be described as brash or loud or even annoying.

    It's odd how that myth persists, isn't it? Or have I just been very lucky?

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  7. Congrats again on your new status, T.
    I've met the odd belligerent since the Irish days ( I was in the peripheral tourist business), but I think you're right, they are a breed that are dead and gone, or at least don't travel ;^)
    XO
    WWW

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  8. I was discussing Americans with some Dutch people today, I was discussing the 'Archie Bunker' types, which I am starting to believe is maybe a dying breed, at least not the kind that travel abroad and certainly not to Newfoundland. I used to be married into a family of them and it was tough going and they thought of themselves as a hilarious bunch, but they didn't travel much. They thought Europeans washed their laundry down by the river on a flat rock and that we all wanted to immigrate to America, the land of milk and honey. This was in the 70's when there was much ignorance still. Boy, aren't I glad I escaped them!

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  9. Irene:
    In business, I travelled a lot down to a branch office in the states and I remember how absolutely flabbergasted Americans were when, after they assumed Canada had been my 'second' choice for emigration, they realized I had no desire to live there. At all. Ever. And that, really, Canada had been my first choice. When they started coming up to Toronto on business they were literally stunned that Toronto supported 5 classical music stations and had the biggest baseball dome. I could go on but the "milk, honey and the best" has taken an awful thrumming of reality, particularly in the last 8 years but it started way before then.
    XO
    WWW

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