8/19/03 Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert

8/19/03 Northeast Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine

In sporting events I always root for three kinds of teams:

a) us (meaning Carolina)

b) anyone playing Dook

c) the underdog.

In Canada, it seems like New Brunswick is the underdog; all guide books begin with “The much-maligned New Brunswick…” or “The province everyone seems to ignore…”

So, of course, I engineered that we should swing over the Confederate Bridge from Prince Edward Island and see a little slip of New Brunswick, just so we could pay our regards. And it wasn’t half bad:

Having read an article about digital cameras in MacAddict, I’ve tried a few shots by sticking my polarized sunglasses in front of the lens for effect. These particular sunglasses are rose-colored (with a silver lining, in fact, O! The poetry!) which made for a nice New Brunswick stew. By the way, N.B. has the “highest tides in the world,” which means the water on the Fundy Coast ebbs and flows the height of a four-story building every day. I mean, you gotta give a country something, right?

The maritime provinces have been a blast, especially given we were here during the Nicest Day of the Year. Every single Nova Scotian and Prince Edward Islander was outside today doing their laundry, walking around in a pheromonal haze, swimming in public pools and chatting with like-minded fellers basking in the blessed sun. In Charlottetown, the tourists lined up for the local musicals, despite the fact that the promotional posters were among the worst I’d ever seen in my life:

That picture of Anne of Green Gables was so hauntingly awful that I stared at it for hours this morning. P.E.I. is pretty gaga over Anne; she appears on jam, cordials, books and places like the Anne of Green Gables Chocolate Store. I went to a rugged elementary school in Iowa that would have disemboweled me if I’d read “Anne of Green Gables,” so I don’t understand her thing for cherry drinks and getting ice cream all over her face, but I’m sure it’s relevant to the text.

We’d planned to stay in Nova Scotia for the night, but found ourselves in time for the Cat – the high-speed ferry to Maine that is the largest catamaran on earth, going a jillion miles an hour, serving up hot chili and slot machines (and apparently slicing through the occasional sperm whale). So here I sit back in the U.S.A., missing the Canadian play money and the gas measured in litres.

Here’s the one thing I can bring to Our Northern Neighbors: I read today that Canada is waiting for a partnership with XM Radio in order to start beaming satellite radio to the provinces. Let me share a secret with you: you don’t have to wait. Our satellite radio worked fantastic all up and down the maritimes. Just go to Maine and buy one. Yes, it has Fox News, but it also has a ironic lounge channel!

And in the Cool Stuff About Canada Dept:

– the green stoplights are round, the yellow is a diamond shape, and the red is a square. Just like a tape deck, sorta.

– Canadians stop their cars whenever a pedestrian even thinks about crossing the road.

– they have Cadbury bars and Bounty chocolates (think Hershey and Mounds, but twice as good)

– and my favorite… on Canadian warning signs, the outline of the driver wears a very nice hat.