People who knows Newfies knows b’y. People who don’t, don’t. Y’know?
Did you know there were two Newfie restaurants in Tokyo? I went to one once, Salty Box Grill in Roppongi. Didn’t meet the boys, but the waitress told me the story. Two queer ducks up in Japan teaching English, used to cook at the Stone House, got sick of teaching English and got a backer to set them up with a restaurant. Lots of fish dishes. Boys had a spat in the middle and one splits off to another place. Two Newfie restaurants in Tokyo. Dunno if they’re still going.
Nah, I never lived in Tokyo, just visited from down south. Used to wear a pleather jacket from Value Village with a big Canadian flag on the back mudder sent me. Wouldn’t be caught dead in it back home.
This Japanese cop comes up to me one time and says,
“No, I’m from Canada.”
“Canada? You Vancouver? Toronto?”
“Nah, NEW-fin-lann. Saint John’s.”
After a year the jacket was cracked and holed with cigarette burns, so I cut off the Canadian flag and threw out the thing. Tried to hang the flag over my window but it curled and shrunk out of shape. Better off – only Newfies with Canadian flags in the window are selling hash.
Did y’know I was in Cairo during Iraq 2? Everyone glaring at me and say “Amerika? Amerika?”
I dug out me phrase book right quick and learned “Ana mish amerikan, ana Kanada.” First thing you always learn, anywhere you goes. In Korea, “Migook sarang anyo. Kanada sarang.”
Some of them Egyptians knew Canada. Sure half them has a cousin in Montreal or Toronto baking pizza. My travel agent lived in Toronto for years, had a kid there with a woman. Finds out where I’m from he says,
“Mmmmmm! I love Newfie pussy! I had girlfriend, Sherri, from Harbour Grace. You know her?”
“Sure everybuddy knows Sherri!” I lied. Turns out I did know her.
On the train to Abu Simbel, ran into two Aussie chicks drunk as skunks. They hears me talking, asks about Newfoundland. Turns out they taught English in Tokyo with an old friend from the TSC 3rd floor. Remember her, cute one from the bay always smelled of vanilla?
Met some Icelanders in Cairo, he and a she, said they were my neighbors. She lived in Kenya, told me she had to dig a hole to take a shit. He flew in from Rekyavvik to see her. That’s love b’y.
Yeah, well that’s when I came and lived back in Town to finish my education. Hard times I’ll tell ya.
Went to the MUN dojo, had to give it up. Senseis were grand, nicest kind and tough as nails. Just too many Bruce Lee wannabees on the mat. This one chick, she’s got her effin diamond ring on. No way that’d fly in Japan. I refused to spar with her. She says, “This isn’t Japan.” I said “I knows that I just don’t want you cutting my eyes out.”
The sensei was nice, swapped me out with someone else. “This is Newfie b’y. Ya can’t tell no one nuttin.” End of class that missus gave someone a bleeding lip.
When I was supervisor at my teaching internship, kids asked me what was it like being a Newfie in Japan. I told em people who knows knows. They loves Newfies.
Kid turns to my supervisor and says, “What do you think miss? Do people like Newfies?”
She says, “I think I fucking HATE the word Newfie.” Right in the classroom, right in front of the kids. They jumped like they’d been slapped. She says, “Y’know, when I lived in Ottawa I went to a party once where this guy was telling a Newfie joke. He goes on and on and they’re all laughing at the end. My friend says “She’s from Newfoundland,” he says “What’d you think of it?” I says “Tell that story again but replace the word Newfie with nigger or jew and that’s how I feel.”
She storms off, the kid turns and says “Sir she’s some mad at you.”
I says, “Nah, we’re just adults expressing our opinions.” Inside I thought she’s fuckin cracked. That internship was the worst time of my life. I got PTSD from working with that lunatic.
That was for teaching French. Y’know I used to live in Quebec City during separation back in ’94. They hated Newfies cause we vetoed Meech Lake. All me friends were France French, Anglos and Muslims from Algeria and Afghanistan.
I was at Universite Laval. Went into the student center one day to buy pub crawl tickets and says “Je voudrais des billets pour le pub crawl” and the woman says “Jeez, where you from by? Labrador by the sound of it.” They was all Newfies, why there was a pub crawl every second week.
I had to take a French writing course, that was back when word processors had just come out. You had to use the F keys to get anything done, y’know F3 to save, F7 to spellcheck or whatever. Anyway, the prof she says “I know how to use ze Apple, but not ze EBM. Is there someone oo can monitor the EBM lab?” I says “I’ll do it” she says “YOU, ze Newfie?” I says “Sure we all got free Email back at MUN, and there are computers all over the library, not like the scattered ones you got here.” Remember those, all the shitty little terminals with black screens and green writing, where the keys’d fly off if you typed too hard?
I asked the prof, “What do ya mean by ‘YOU the Newfie?’ You think we’re backwards?” She says “Non non, nothing.” I was lab monitor the whole semester, not a word o thanks. Day I left I saw in their uni paper ‘Internet a Tous!’ Top French uni in North America, way behind MUN. Unbelievable.
Y’know I took the wife out to the Cellar for our anniversary, we are looking out at downtown and the harbour when this Toronto family comes and sits next to us. Daughter at MUN and parents in to see her graduation.
She starts going on,
“Do you know what they eat here? Scrunchins! Pork fat all fried up eh? DisGUSting!”
Father says, “TERrible!” Mother laughs.
“And seal flipper PIE!”
Father, “Oh ho ho ho ho!” Mother, “Tee hee hee!”
“And everyone eats Jigg’s dinner, this salty beef and vegetables with all the taste boiled out of them. In the supermarkets, they have the meat in buckets filled with blood! Ugh!”
Mother says, “Ah ha ha, are you SERious? I can’t believe it eh?”
I couldn’t hold me tongue, I says “If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Stay in Toronto if you have no respect for where you go.”
Father says, “ExCUSE me!?” I says, “You’re excused.”
He says, “WHAT?” I says, “You hear alright? There are countries where they’d stone you for insulting their food, and here you are insulting Newfie food. Go to McDonald’s if you don’t like it.”
He starts blustering as the waitress comes, I ask her to move us as these people are bothering us. We move, I apologized to the wife, she says “I knew you’d say something. It’s alright.” Good woman, putting up with a Newfie.
People who knows Newfies knows. People who don’t don’t. Y’know?