Jellybean Row

St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. Others call them ‘Newfies’. Locals call themselves either ‘Townies’ or ‘Bayers’ because if you don’t live in town then they say you live ’round the bay’. An island where the locals want independence from Canada. They greet you at the airport with ‘Bonjour’ which takes you by surprise. Jellybean row – tourists always ask if people have to paint their house a bright colour (they don’t). Unexpectedly expensive. Highest tax in Canada. Highest number of restaurants per capita. Home to the number one restaurant in Canada – Ramons. Impeccable hospitality – almost too nice. Hilly and windy – just like Wellington. 110K people – does that make it a city or a town? A history/geography/culture/politics lesson every time you get in a cab. Cabbies who tell you their life story, others who ask if they can add you on Facebook at the end of the ride. Huge German beer house – 180 types of beer and amazing pretzels. Making friends in the Sheraton hot tub who turn out to have identical beliefs to you in almost every matter of life. Meeting someone who’d done a Catholic pilgrimage tour through Israel & Palestine – walking where Jesus walked. Posed in front of a sunset and didn’t see the ‘Beware of Landmines’ sign right behind him until much later when looking at his photos. Misty mornings waking to the sound of distant ship horns and seagulls. Huge cargo ships and a few luxury liners. Signal Hill with a tower on top. A pizzeria with Venice accreditation. Certainly a foodies paradise and a strong restaurant contender for Auckland. So many beggars; hardly surprising with the price of things. So many churches. Descendants of Ireland. Non typical accent – can only liken it to Canadian but with a southern American drawl and perhaps a tinge of Irish? One cabbie’s accent was so thick it took me a few minutes to work out he was talking to me in English. Million Dollar Drive – so much wealth here. Would I live here? No. Would I come back to visit? Sure.


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