Saturday, August 9, 2008
Here and There
I couldn't help but notice many of the differences between Ontario and Nova Scotia this time as I was seeing it through Jon's eyes and taking in more of the details I had maybe overlooked before or just chalked up to being a part of the experience.
- I have concluded there is nothing as fresh and tranquil as the sight of a line with freshly laundered shirts and shorts blowing in the salt air breeze. Most people in Nova Scotia have and use a clothesline...In Ontario most people have and use exclusively their dryer...I think we need to bring back the clothesline!
- Beaches in Ontario are plenty in the lake variety. They are nice and big enough that if the wind blows right there are waves that allow you to pretend it is an ocean beech. Some even have soft white sand flown in from California to complete your faux beach experience. The problem with these beaches is that they are measured for pollution each morning. Depending on that same wind and the amount of toxins in the water the beach could be closed three out of every seven days in the summer. My concern is how safe is the water on the other four days and what is my guarantee that I won't have diareah for a week after swimming. You are left with no choice then to join the other 20 000 people on the shore with your half a towel space of imported sand.
Beaches in Nova Scotia however are a different thing entirely. Firstly there are different kinds of beaches. If you don't feel like getting into a bathing suit and sitting in the sun all day you can put on a sweater and head up to the "shore" to cool off by the ocean breeze and walk along the rocks listening to the waves crashing up and hoping to come across a surprise crab or starfish (if this post goes unfinished it is because I am driving to the airport!!!). We discovered as well that some of the most beautiful beaches remained untouched virtually here when we went on a "busy" day and basically had a whole section to ourselves. Ben loved playing in the sand and letting the waves wash up on him. When we came back home I tried to recreate the experience for him by bringing him to one of our man made chlorine filled "beaches" where the water gets slowly deeper like a beach would. It is essentially a concrete hole and a little depressing considering where we had just come from.
We were told on the day we were leaving to go a little early for our 6pm flight as we would hit rush hour...well we were pretty taken aback to see what rush hour was in Halifax... about 15 cars. When we drove home from Toronto that night at 9pm there were at one point 20 lanes of traffic full of cars. What we wouldn't do for a little of Halifax' rush hour!
In Ontario people always have somewhere more important to be then where they are and someone more important to talk to then the one they already are. If one is made to wait in line for too long in Ontario you will hear loud sighing, shuffling of impatient feet and the flip of cell phone opening to make an important call for the entertainment of the others around them to hear.
The occasion that best exemplifies the polar opposite attitude of the maritimer is when we stopped for our last ice cream cone (we had ice cream everywhere we went!) before heading back home. It was the ice cream experience of all ice cream experiences when we found a little corner store in Halifax. Here was a man who took pride in his ice cream that is for sure as he presented up with "ice cream art" piled high with different flavors and a little candy to top it off. We didn't order our ice cream from him..he created what his imagination led him to pile on a waffle cone. You can imagine how long he took to prepare one of these colossal picture worthy cones let alone one for Jon, my brother and I. When we left the line was out the door and I was shocked to see so many people patiently waiting for us and smiling at our excitement over the cones and our obviously "not for around hereness". I smiled and thanked them for waiting as they looked at me like "well what else would I do" I didn't want to corrupt the innocence of these gems of the earth by telling them that where we are from you would have long stomped out the door slamming it behind you, muttering about damn ice cream art and poor service! These are the savoured experiences of the trip...small but impressionable.