Whose girl are you? Part II

Îles de la Madeleine, maisons colorées, mer, falaises

A huge thank you to all of those who wrote us after the post Whose girl are you? was published! You inspired us, so here we go at it again! Here are some of our habits on The Maggies...

Wander around the docks

A fairly common habit is to go for a stroll on the docks. From one day to the next, there's always something to look at, be it a new ship, the arrival of the catch of the day, or the sight of the sea splashing over the pier... It's also a sure way of getting the latest news since the docks are a natural meeting point. If we can't make it to the sea that day, we can at least go as far as the docks.

Into the driveway

A standard practice on the Islands, though times are a-fortunately-changing, is to omit one's turn signal when driving into one's driveway. A now-anonymous Islander came up with the now-famous quote to explain how pointless it would be to use a turn signal to drive into the entrance for his own house: “Come on. Everyone knows that I live here.”

Knowing your houses

We take an interest in people, in families. My father calls it “sorting out your houses” - knowing who lives in which borough, in which house, who was their father, and their grandfather. Suzanne, of Paul-Émile. Sometimes I think back on the first Acadians who came here on a schooner with the essentials to settle down and start over from scratch, having faith in where and who they came from.

An old guitar

We tend to keep a battered guitar in the car, ready for the beach, the mid-Lent festivities, or for a boat trip. It's a smart habit shared by anyone and everyone who wishes to get invited to bonfires and other similar gatherings.

Why an old guitar? Because a new one would age in no time...

The doors (yes, there's more!)

Porte verte

The way we arrive at people's homes can seem a bit odd at first glance. Here's how it goes: the Islander knocks at the door, waits for a second for good form, opens the door - left unlocked 99% of the times - and steps in with a “Hello! Anyone home?” There are only a few doorbells on the Islands, and when we see one, we pretend we don't know how to use them!

What's the address?

- Where do you live?
A short question that gets a long answer! We've been told that Islanders tend to take their time to say where things are, complete with precise explanations and numerous details. When talking to one another, we go for landmarks and pointers, like the colour of a house, a hill, a pier, a former school... or we take you through the whole journey.
- So, let's say you leave from here, then...

Habits when it comes to storms

There are many of them, but the first one to come to mind is that as soon as the storm is official - when it gets its red banner of warning displayed on the weather forecast website - we switch to siege mode, and everyone heads for the grocery store. Because we know when the storm is going to start, but never know when it's going to end...

And you, what habits have you noticed?

Par Suzanne Richard

Suzanne Richard is an author, a speaker and a musician. She published a collection of short stories entitled La mer, trois kilomètres à gauche. Her conference — Les mots et la mer — is about maritime words and expressions commonly used in the French language.

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