Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Regatta Day

So we arrived in St. John's yesterday morning, after spending the night in Placentia. The ferry arrived at 9:30pm -- 14 1/2 hours on the water! -- so we crashed at "The Harold Hotel," which seemed to be the biggest going concern in town.

But more on that, and a trip postmortem, when I've got my internet hooked up at home and I have all my trip stats at hand. At the moment I'm writing in my new office on campus, which is newly tricked out with my shiny new computer. I'm up here to switch this one with my old computer, sort of Indiana Jones-like, and spirit this funky new machine away to my new place.

And more on my new place tomorrow ...

I just want to toss in a quick blog about Regatta Day here in St. John's, a 187-year-old tradition. Every year in the first week of August there is a series of races on Qidi Vidi lake between sculling teams, and the entire city shuts down and shows up on the shores of the lake to enjoy the races, the beer tent, and the various vans offering fried foods. It's essentially a huge garden party.

What I love about Regatta Day is that it's weather-sensitive -- too windy or rainy and it can't happen, so if on the scheduled day the weather's crappy, the event is cancelled and resecheduled for the next day. I love this! A city-wide holiday in which everyone looks out the window in the morning, and if it's raining ... well, I guess we'll go to work. It's sort of representative of the generally laid-back feeling this province has. It's going to take me a few weeks to decompress from Ontario time, I think, but the change will likely be a good thing.

At any rate, Kristen and I walked from my new apartment down to Qidi Vidi, and then did a circuit of the lake (other great thing about regatta day? Some pretty spectacular people watching!). So I feel I've got my exercise -- any casual walk in this city is quite the workout, given the extremity of the hills. It's as if some urban alchemist invented St. John's by combining Galway and San Francisco.

OK, all for now -- more tomorrow.

Yesterday's good omen: In my new office, sitting atop an old pile of ESC back issues, was a collection of essays in honour of some old scholar or other. However, casually opening the book at random I found myself on the first page of an article by none other than E.J. Devereux (English department people will get the significance of this). How's about that, Jo??


Loz said...

hope i get to see pix of the aparto soon. you should be very happy not to be in london right now, if for no other reason than it's still stupid hot. grrrrr. oh, and touche on the comments you left on my blog. i can rebuild! i can rebuild...

FanglyFish said...

Glad to hear you made it safe.... I will give you guys a call shortly.