Friday, July 11, 2008

The docks


There's a little town on Vancouver Island called Sayward which is comprised of a giftshop, a gas station and the Cable Cookhouse, which gets its name from the steel cables that are wrapped around the outside of it. On one trip we met some German tourists in the giftshop who were looking for authentic Canadian souvenirs.

There were four of them, one man and three women each around retirement age, fifties and sixties. They were puzzled as to what the cables on the cafe were originally for. "Fishing?" they asked, miming the act of casting a line.

"No, logging," the owner of the giftshop replied, but they didn't understand. Each of us attempted to explain the act of tying up logs to pull them down greased skids and the act of tying logs into booms but I don't think they really understood. It wasn't until that moment that I really realized that my German has gone to hell in a handcart from neglect.


The man eventually settled on some deer antlers that were in a display case. He held them up to his head and announced in his broken English that he needed them because he was travelling in a motorhome with three women. He made one of the most comical macho faces I've ever seen and it cracked everyone up.

But that was actually some time ago now. My sister and I went down to the wharf the other day and kind of by accident ran into a man who must have gotten there from the pub across the street because he was very drunk.

Things I know about this man after our conversation:
- he is confused about his nationality, and might be Norwegian, because he's from Norway but might be a Finn because he's from Finland and he's a Finn
- he has lots of lady friends and they know about photography
- he thinks we are fantastic
- he thinks we are [insert unintelligable mumbled possibly foreign word here]
- he wants to hug us

It just so happened that we had somewhere where we had to be at that moment so we said it was nice meeting him and left. My sister thinks that sort of stuff is funny, but I find it really sad.