East is East

Trip Start Jan 16, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Newman House

Flag of Canada  , New Brunswick,
Friday, February 25, 2011

This is just a mini blog to update you on a small stop off I made in Saint John, New Brunswick while on route to Halifax in Nova Scotia.

Having said goodbye to Vancouver and set out on the flight to Montreal, where I would have a short stop over, I noticed pretty quickly that there was certainly a friendlier side to people on the east side of the country. 

First, however, there were two more pressing matters occupying my mind as I walked out to the plane on the Montreal runway; 
"God it's freezing" and, "God that's a very small plane."

The temperature had dropped from an almost balmy 9 degrees in Vancouver, to -7 and having been indoors all day, it hit me like a wet fish in the face. When I'd got over the initial shock of that and saw the waiting plane, I soon forgot about the cold. I know this might sound a bit show off-ish but I'm almost 100% sure that I skydived from a bigger model. As general rule of thumb, I don't like being able to walk the full length of a plane in 5 steps. I figured however that this flight is done everyday so I should probably just put my confidence in the pilot. 

While on the flight, the lady sitting beside me was a native of Montreal travelling to the hospital in Saint John on a business trip and having told her of my reasons for coming to Canada, she very kindly offered to drive me from the airport to the hospital, which meant I was a lot closer to my accommodation and subsequently a much cheaper taxi fare. So far so good in the east.

Once I got to the "hostel" my initial gut feeling had been confirmed. I say "hostel" by the way as it was more of a house than your average hostel, and over the following days, the house would feel more like a home.

Sharon, the owner of Newman House met me as soon as I walked in the door and I instantly felt a warm welcome and knew that I'd be more than comfortable over the next few days. Having a private room and a double bed was also a major bonus after the previous three weeks of little sleep on the most uncomfortable dorm bed I've ever had the pleasure of knowing,

I spent the next three days looking around town and enjoying Sharon's fantastic hospitality which included a couple of private tours to see all of Saint John, the reversing falls as well as cooking and offering me the full freedom of the house

Being winter, the tourism levels were fairly low so any conversations or questions I had with locals around town always resulted in them asking me where I was from. Being Irish I'm used to getting a pretty positive response from locals, however, the residents of Saint John were positively beaming when I told them. Almost all of them had connections, some more dubious than others, however, everyone was very glad to tell me about their roots. There was also a big build up to St Patricks Day with decorations already being installed in most shops or malls. One mall worker told me that they were having their celebrations for two hours on March 14th, with the highlight being the Scottish dancers that would be appearing. Now, I could've been mean and said that everything about that was wrong, but sometimes a smile and a nod is sufficient.

Although I only had a short stay in Saint John, it was definitely memorable for all the right reasons and I would like to return in summertime with Amanda as I think it will be a very different place then and also to visit Sharon and avail of her fantastic hospitality again. 

For now though, it was on owards and 412km eastwards to a place I wanted to visit since I arrived in Canada, Halifax, in Nova Scotia where I am hoping to settle long term. And although it's definitely colder here, and much smaller than Vancouver, it's definitely got a good vibe and employment opportunities seem to be higher so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.   

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julio iglesias on

family that created the tea bag?..there is a known person who put the tea in a bag?,.. can't believe it..and a whole family invented it..one thought abt the bag, the other abt the stable, the cardboard brand..what is their family name..Lyons???..glad to know u enjoyed the town and willing to meet Halifax..i will always like that name, mostly for banks..they let me some money..they went bankrupt..they never asked for the money back, my little contribution to the recession...:(

Domenico on

I like this blog. It a very nice idea to have one. It is now in my favorites and I am really looking forward to read the sequel of the adventure :-)
Good Luck man!!!

jamesmc on

Julio Iglesias...I wonder who that could be??? :-) Hopefully I have the same luck with money in Halifax as you did!

jamesmc on

Thanks Domenico. I'm glad that you have read it an liked it. Thanks for putting in your favourites, I hope it stays there for the rest of the trip!

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