There’s a city in Newfoundland known as Dildo. It was a bit dangerous. Courtesy of Kate Ok
Because the crow flies, Seattle is roughly 3,000 miles west of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, the capital of Canada’s easternmost province and a metropolis the place I lived for a yr and a half. Earlier than transferring to the island I had visited a number of occasions and beloved it. I sit up for the quaint downtown, colourful Newfoundland slang, the abundance of fish’n’chip shops. Newfoundlanders had cute accents and gave the impression to be very nice folks! I used to be pushed in, kissed the cod and ate the by no means proverbial fried baloney (“Newfoundland steak”). I could not wait to maneuver there. 18 months later I selected to return to Seattle as a result of it was the farthest I might get from “Rock,” as they known as it, with out having to take one other boat.
Calling Island Newfoundlanders is a bit like calling the sinking Titanic evening a relatively severe night. There are solely about half one million of them, clustered on the finish’f d’worl ‘ass in a spot even the Vikings had the nice sense to surrender. Newfoundland was a self-governing dominion till it arrived in Canada in 1949, and since then it has served primarily as a dividing line. They’re proud and defensive folks, of how proud and defensive hillbillies and rednecks are. They reserve their legendary kindness for these whose ancestry they’ll hint for generations and for vacationers who’re destined to depart in a number of days.
I began seeing focused adverts a number of weeks in the past for the manufacturing of The Seattle Rep Come from afar, a musical chronicle recounting the week that just about 7,000 vacationers spent trapped in Gander, Newfoundland, after the FAA closed US airspace on September 11, doubling the town’s inhabitants. Instantly after a gradual eye roll I assumed to myself, “They name her Come from afar? G’wan!“You see, for Newfoundlanders there are three forms of folks: Townies (folks from St. John’s), Baymen (Newfoundlanders who usually are not from St. John’s) and Come From Aways ( everyone). a time period supposed for “different” foreigners. Newfoundlanders know you’re a DWI from the second you open your mouth. final alternate you’ll have with most of them.
With an enormous bullet on my shoulder, I used to be persuaded to see it, and, b’y … it is a actually good present. Come from afar Clock at about half previous one with out an intermission and I have never checked out my watch as soon as. The tempo was tight as every member of the small solid rotated with ease by many roles, representing each townspeople and a various group of passengers. Newfie’s accents had been there, albeit a bit muted for the final populace, and bizarre bits of Newfoundlandiana – like everybody hanging out at Tim Hortons and the Islanders’ affinity for Pepsi – ringed out. significantly true.
Like many nice tales, Come from afar takes a unprecedented occasion and focuses on the human relationships which have been solid (and typically unraveled) underneath the circumstances. Whereas not explicitly a 9/11 story, there are actually a number of scenes that poignantly seize the confusion, unhappiness and uncertainty that almost all of us who’re sufficiently old to recollect walked by this week. These moments linger simply lengthy sufficient to remain in your throat earlier than the story continues.
The hospitality proven by the folks of the aircraft by the Newfoundlanders after 9/11 is really humanity’s finest response to the worst. “You’d have completed the identical” is a chorus in Come from afar, and I agree, there’s nothing inherently Canadian or Newfoundland of their response aside from location. In any case, it is easy sufficient to be nice to one another whereas the others will likely be GTFO in a number of days.
Canadians are likely to complain fairly vigorously about their kindness typically and within the days after September 11 particularly. As soon as Come from afar is licensed to group theaters, it’s supposed to be steady staging all around the Rock, perpetually. Hopefully it will encourage some soul-searching and soften the Newfoundlanders at Come From Aways who determine to remain.