The same except for the differences

The Fla/NL connection

I have all my Rapture gear packed away for the next big event. I included a rain hat and a skort so I can look dressy while avoiding potentially embarrassing ascension moments. Of course, that is assuming I’d be doing any ascending at all. I also packed a crystal goblet for smashing after that final shot of tequila.

Luckily, I don’t have to sweat all that apocalypse, brimstone and judgment, and my childhood gym nightmare of being the only kid left in the line and still not getting picked for a team. With all that off my shoulders I can relax and think about the world we’re still living in.

We are family

One of my favourite places to think about is common ground. It can be anywhere, but lately I find it somewhere between the southern U.S. and Newfoundland and Labrador.

I used to think that the New England states were our American kindred. We have similar geography, industry, and climate, but I believe we have a better connection out there.

Like Romulus and Remus or the Olsens

Now I’m thinking Florida is our long lost twin; fraternal, of course. We don’t look exactly alike, but if you flip Florida upside down it does look a bit like the Northern Peninsula. For the past few years I’ve been lucky enough to defrost in Florida and the similarities I’ve noticed are interesting.

N.L. is full of NLers. So is Florida. I’ve seen more people I know in Tampa airport than in Deer Lake.  It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers – everywhere you look, there’s one of us.

Florida hangs out at the Atlantic Ocean just like us. Their temperature is set a little higher, but it’s the same water.

Florida has lots of little islands off its shore. So do we. People live on these islands and Floridians have a snappy name for them – keys. We have small islands that people live on and we have a snappy name for them too – islands.

Long rocks on the beach

Florida has lots of beautiful beaches. So do we. Our sand isn’t as fine as theirs. Conversely, the rocks on their beaches are an awful lot smaller than ours.

Rainstorms in Florida are intense and brief. Unbelievable amounts of rain can pour down in an hour. We probably get the same amount of rain, but we spread ours out over weeks.

Whenever I talk to people who live in Florida, they’re often from another part of the country. I haven’t met a lot of native Floridians as many people go to Florida to work. Here, we are the mirror image of that. Lots of NLers go everywhere else in Canada to work.

Hey Mickey

In Florida you see signs all over the place directing you to The Mouse. Here we have signs directing you away from the moose.

Florida gets hurricanes and so do we. They have a whole season of them. Here on the Avalon we have a windy season too. We call it all year.

Florida may not be as hip as California, but it does have a crime fighting show based there – CSI Miami. We may not be as hip as B.C., but we’ve got Republic of Doyle. There is a diverging point, though. While both shows feature stunning shots of their cities, Jake Doyle far outstrips Horatio Caine for coolness.

Imagine Jaws theme music here

In Florida, if you stand on the shore long enough, you might see a fin breaking the surface of the water. You might freak out a little thinking it’s a shark. Most of the time, it’s a dolphin you’re looking at and that’s really cool. I think sharks are awesome too, just not when I’m in the water.

Here you can stand on the shore and see a fin in the water too. You won’t freak out about it being a shark though. The plume of vapour and the water temperature should reassure you those are whales. But how’s this for a freak out bonus – we do have sharks here.

Florida has a high retiree population and we do as well. Often we share ours with Florida particularly between January and April. Florida’s other type of retirees are greyhounds whom they share with us.

Floridians love to fish. We do too. They wade into hip-deep water in their shorts. We wear hip-waders over our shorts in the water.

We have many of the same species of plants. In Florida, these plants grow outside in the garden. Here, they grow inside by a window overlooking the garden.

Real love

Both Floridians and NLers want to make sure no one leaves a table hungry. Meal proportions in both places are pants-looseningly huge. Our philosophies are the same; a full belly means someone really loves you. Sometimes it’s hard to handle all that love, particularly if you are a belt.

We have so many things in common with our neighbours (or neighbors) to the south. If you can overlook the climate, landscape, and their distaste for the letter ‘u’, we’re hard to tell apart. It’s a comforting post non-rapture thought to know that Newfoundland and Labrador just might have colonized Florida.

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