The day I TRIED being just a tourist.

Trip Start Jul 22, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Camping Colibri

Flag of Canada  , New Brunswick,
Friday, September 11, 2009

I stayed in bed a little later then usual this morning as it was a very late night.

I had decided that today I would go visit the "Village Historique Acadien". I would do this visit as a tourist and not as a photographer. My camera equipment stayed at the trailer. It was an amazing fall day. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect. It was a great day to be out photographing nature, but not for me.

I get to the Village at 11, or so. There are 36 buildings scattered throughout the property. The oldest farmhouse (the Martin house from 1773) starts the tour. There are various farmhouses lining the route and the occasional business. As we progress towards the late 19th century the buildings are grouped closer together until we finally arrive in the early part of the 20th century and we have an actual town.

As I visit each building I chat with the historic "person". Once I get the story of the person(s) who lived/worked in the building for the period they are representing the discussion progresses to other topics, usually the Acadian story, and/or "my" story.

I've been visiting for 4 hours and I've been through half the buildings. The Village closes in an hour and a half. I have to rush through and skip a few of the town buildings.

I had planned on being "just a tourist" today. I could have spent the time I did spend there taking pictures. The buildings were quite interesting. The weather perfect. I didn't have my photographer hat on today, I had my scientist hat on. I was gathering information. I can no longer be "just a tourist" who goes and sees something, listens to the "official" story and moves on. I always need "more", I need to see how all this "history" (in this case) ties in with my global theories of where life is taking us. I need to "personalize" the experiences. I need to know the person behind the character.

Everybody assumes I'm just a tourist, or a traveler. But actually, I am always "working". I use that word loosely because I enjoy what I am doing so much that I wouldn't classify it as work.

Yes I am scientist, photographer, philosopher, traveler, writer, .....I am whatever I want to be.

Yesterday I took a drive out to the Miscou Islands. I saw and climbed up (first time I actually go up into one of the lighthouses I photograph), photographed a lot of churches, including Ste Cecile where the priest was tired of the dull colours and painted it in many bright colours. I met an older lady from Pennsylvania who was traveling with her daughter from Colorado, showing her the Gaspé Peninsula where her and her husband had honeymooned over 50 years ago. I chatted with Amélie, a young woman from Drummondville, Québec who was returning home after having spent the summer working as a guide in Gaspé.

I toured a bog and learned how they make peat moss (a major industry in the area). I chatted with another young lady at a Nature Preserve, getting her life story.

Then last night I went to the Caraquet Blues festival that had started the night I had arrived and continues until the weekend. Monkey Junk and Harry Manx were playing last night. There I met Claude and Suzanne who were sitting at the table next to me. Prior to the show starting one of the organizers was trying to find a woman in a white jacket for a CBC Radio interviewer. I had noticed the interviewer sitting by herself at a table a short distance away earlier.

The woman they are looking for in the white jacket is Suzanne. The reason being is that they are from the Gaspésie area of Quebec and drove here specifically to see the show. Suzanne doesn't want to be interviewed. This is when Claude starts talking to me and asking where I'm from and then prodding the interviewer to come and chat with me. Once she's done asking Suzanne some questions, Sylvie comes and chats with me.  She's doing a show for Radio-Canada Moncton about the Blues Festival. She asks if she can ask me a few questions. I accept.

Once that is done she says she'll come back and chat after the interview. Claude and I chat some more. They live off the highway that I'll be driving by on my way to my next stop. He wants me to stop in and gives me his number.

Monkey Junk plays the first set. The show is awesome. While they are setting up the stage for Harry Manx I go and buy their CDs. I've never heard Harry Manx play before but I buy his CD anyway. I then get the musicians from Monkey Junk to sign the CD case.

Harry Manx does his show. His music is a combination Louisiana Blues meets Eastern India yogic meditative rhythm. Quite interesting.

The show over, Sylvie comes over (did I mention that she's hot). We chat a while, and then.............................

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