Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Faces of Ontario

While in Ontario we met some interesting people that will give you a taste of the culture we experienced up there. A cash-crop farmer from Southern Ontario hurried as best he could on crooked legs to catch up with Jason at one of the campgrounds to chat. We learned he was there dropping off his son to work in a nickel mine. He told us how he was just a farmer, never went to school or nothin', high school was hard enough, sometimes too hard. He seemed lonely and anxious to talk. Another guy in North Bay, where we attracted a lot of stares being outsiders, struck up a conversation about the camper van and asked if he could buy her from us. He hadn't seen one since he was a kid. He was a Native American (Cree) who lived 2,000 km north and had come all the way down to North Bay to be in the South. It made us feel funny since we were in Canada and we consider even Montana to be pretty far north. He said that polar bears are moving into the area where had grown up, something that has never happened before. He told us that it is illegal to drink alcohol where he comes from and when he was younger he used to bootleg into the reservation which would net him $3,000 a week. When he realized that teenagers were starting to break into people's homes, stealing so that they could pay for the alcohol, he gave up that profession and now manages a Pizza Hut. As we parted ways, he said he was going to meet his wife and that they weren't going to go out drinking or nothing. On the same street, the burly, tattooed owner of a leather clothing shop spent time staring at Pika in the camper van while smoking a cig (it seemed like everyone smoked). He immediately started a conversation with us about her when we came back. He was smitten with her delicate cuteness. While we ate lunch in the camper van he went back into his store, researched chihuahuas, and came back out with a lot more questions as he was now on a search to locate a "Montana, deer-faced, sand-colored chihuahua" as he put it. 

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