|It looks like this.|
PEI isn't BEHIND the rest of the world, exactly; it's not like it's super conservative (it's full of organic farming hippies and elderly women who go to erotic movies, sometimes even on purpose) or technologically backwards (even the most remote corners of the Island have cell coverage, and I know some people who update Facebook while farming). It's definitely sideways. It's like PEI took one look at where the rest of the world was going and said, "No thank you, we'll just stay over here with our potatoes."
The biggest industries in PEI are potatoes and lobster. And now, apparently, Taiwanese Buddhist monks, who are quietly and enthusiastically building a monastery about half an hour outside of the only major city, Charlottetown (population 60,000, most of whom know each other on sight). It is a strange and lovely place.
|I am totally catching lobsters RIGHT NOW. In my bathtub.|
When I was seven or eight, the big controversy on PEI was whether or not to build the "Fixed Link": what's now called the Confederation Bridge. The longest free-standing bridge in Canada, it's 13 kms and connects PEI with the mainland so those potato deliveries can flow more smoothly. Before the bridge, there was only a ferry, and in the winter, I remember seeing little ice breaker boats cheerily allowing us to get back home so we wouldn't be stuck in New Brunswick until the thaw. When I was a kid, winter lasted approximately 297 months of the year and it got down to -40. Now, probably because of the bridge and those DAMN FOREIGNERS, winter is milder and there's less snow, less low temperatures, more confused Canada geese who forgot to migrate.
|A door on Water St. Of course there's a Water St.|
As an Islander, whether I live here or not, whether I love it or not, this is my home. It's funny to think that in a whole world of wandering and travel, I might someday end up living down the road from my oldest friend. Not that she's the oldest -- she's the same age as me -- but we've known each other literally since we were born. My mother is looking at property that is literally down the road from where M will build her future house, and where her mother's house stands right now: the bizarre hexagonal fairy house that I grew up in, reading Archie comics and staring at the poster of cloud names on the wall outside the bathroom (cumulonimbus...cirrostratus...).
For someone as crazily nostalgic as me, it seems fitting that I'm currently, literally, living in the past.