By: Krystyn Decker
I was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and spent some of my childhood here. However, I moved to Edmonton at a somewhat young age. Young enough that I went from being a kid, to a teen, to an adult in the prairies. The problem with moving at such a young age was I never truly had the opportunity to appreciate all that St. John’s has to offer. So here I am now, in my mid-twenties, on a three month hiatus in the most easterly province of Canada.
Within my first few weeks on the Rock, I noticed quite a few differences. Differences that you wouldn’t expect to be all that different. Bathroom light switches are on the outside of the bathrooms here, which is somewhat inconvenient. My family is continuously asking me what I want for dinner, at lunchtime. I’m still having trouble getting use to the term “dinner” meaning lunch, and the term “supper” meaning dinner. Is there another word for breakfast?
Meals are very unique in the province of Newfoundland – I’ve come to learn that the province has it’s own style of cuisine. My family never asks if I want to order in Indian, or Mexican. Instead, they ask how I want my moose cooked. Personally, I don’t eat meat, but my family will wake up and eat moose sausages for breakfast, moose meat over rice for “dinner” and moose roast for “supper”. Yet somehow, the province still has an abundance of moose roaming the island.
I took advantage of finally being old enough to drive myself around St. John’s and did some sightseeing. Newfoundland has some of the most breathtaking views I’ve seen on my many travels. The capital city is surrounded by a rugged, rocky shoreline with views of an infinite ocean. If the time is right, you’ll be lucky enough to see icebergs and whales within the endless waters. Heading out to Cape Spear is a must. Known as the most easterly point in North America, the lighthouse and coastline are fun to explore. Jellybean Row houses are a unique feature to the city that you can’t find anywhere else, and taking a walk down Gower Street is the perfect photo op.
An Abundance of Culture
A lot of cities I visit, I notice that locals don’t generally indulge in the more “touristy” areas. In St. John’s, it’s a different story. Places like Cape Spear and Signal Hill are loaded with tourists, but the locals also make time to appreciate the breathtaking views, which says a lot about the type of people here.
The main thing I discovered and adored about St. John’s was its abundance of art. The city is stogged-full of artists – from musicians, to filmmakers, to performers and more.
If you hit up downtown at night, you’ll find a lot of the pubs feature live music from local bands. There’s tons of theatres throughout the city which are constantly running productions from musicals, to improv., to stand-up comedy. Not to mention the extensive list of celebrities and artists who are originally from Newfoundland and have made it into the public’s eye.
All in all, there are quite a few differences. The culture in Newfoundland is amazing and this province holds a reputation for having the friendliest people, which is probably why it made in into Maclean’s magazine as one of the Top 10 Friendliest Cultures in the World. The food, the architecture, and the dialect are all so unique and unlike anything else I’ve come across – not to mention again the abundance of arts & culture.
I think I’ll stay a while longer.