Be My Guest-Bruce Meisterman author of Arn? Narn | Miki's Hope

Be My Guest-Bruce Meisterman author of Arn? Narn

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

After reading Am? Nam and looking at the extraordinary photos taken by Bruce Meisterman I was very happy to hear that he was willing to write up a guest post for Miki's Hope. Through his eyes and written words I feel that I know Newfoundland and
would really like to go and see it in person one day. If you would like to see my review of this book click here.

One of the many things I learned while traveling around Newfoundland for my book Arn? Narn., was the preternatural friendliness of Newfoundlanders. It's way more than just a courteous wave or the perfunctory "Good morning" greeting most of us do without a second thought. No, this goes way beyond that. This, in my imaginary world of how it should be, is genuine and was cast in their DNA hundreds of years ago. Ask anyone who has been there and you will hear similar tales of uncommon courtesy, friendship, and generosity. Let me share some stories of what I've experienced first hand and another written by another author. They could provide a template for all of us.

Tea is a most common beverage in Newfoundland, rivaled probably only by beer. Tea is offered almost immediately upon visiting a Newfoundlander in their home and is a warm welcoming into their world. It is an invitation to sit awhile and get to know one another or just to catch up on things. Newfoundland definitely operates at a slower pace and one that I particularly enjoyed. One person I met up there described it as the "Land of Low Anxiety." OK. That works for just fine me. I will have that cup of tea. Matter of fact, I think I'll have another, thank you.

Generosity is the norm in Newfoundland. On one of my trips, I stayed in a cute little B&B in the small outport of Burgeo. I was to catch the ferry to the island of Ramea the next day. The innkeeper with whom I stayed, shared an early evening drink and asked me of my itinerary. I told her I would be leaving in the morning and returning about a week later. She inquired if I had seen anything of Burgeo while I was there. I told her I hadn't had the time. She said there was so much to see and it would be a pity of I missed it. She insisted that when I returned from Ramea, I stay at their inn (no charge!) and do a little sightseeing. That kind of generosity is not unusual.

Another innkeeper invited me to dinner with her family at their own home. That's the way it is in Newfoundland. Their homemade wine was pretty good too.

One of my favorite stores about Newfoundland is found in the book, The Day the World Came to Town, 9/11 Gander, Newfoundland. written by Jim DeFede. After the 9/11 attacks, airspace over the US was closed down. 38 jetliners were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland, depositing over 6,500 people into Gander, a town of 10,000. People showed up at the airport with clothing, towels and linens, toiletries, and took then into their homes. They were fed and cared for. Many of the plane people still maintain strong ties to their Newfoundland hosts.

One day during their unscheduled visit to Newfoundland, some women were walking down a road when a Newfoundlander woman stopped her car and asked if they were from the planes. They replied, yes they were. The Newfoundlander asked where were they going. They said the mall. She said, hop in and I'll take you there. The plane women initially declined, not used to such friendliness. The driver insisted and then asked what they would do when they were done at the mall. Walk back to the school where they were staying was their response. The Newfoundland woman suggested they take her car since it would be no good to anyone just sitting in the parking lot all day. They declined, again not used to such generosity. They asked if she was concerned they'd steal it. Her response was pure Newfoundland, "It's an island, girlie. Where will you go?" That island culture defines their hospitality. They've come to rely on each other. If you're there, you're one of them.

Such is the generosity, friendliness, and warmth of Newfoundland that's a very good place to be.


Bruce Meisterman


I was not paid cash for this post. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinions. For more information please check my Disclosure Statement. Our giveaways are in no way sponsored or promoted by Facebook.


jheylo said...

sounds like a good informative book. I salute those people who loves to read books. I'm not fond of it and that's probably why my vocabulary is limited :(

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