Monday, July 10, 2017

Cruise Day 3 : Halifax, NS

Halifax, Nova Scotia was Canada's main entry point for immigrants from Europe. And my great-uncle must have traveled through this port on his way to settle in Toronto. I never met this man, yet I would have loved to have done so as the adult I am now. Behind Lili is the dock side building that holds the Farmer's Market and the Museum of Canadian Immigration.  If I'm ever in Halifax again, I intend to visit the museum instead of accompanying Lili on a search for Canadian Tea.

- - - - - -

For once, both Lili and I got up early in the morning. So we got ready, and got off the ship before 10:30. Lili is someone who doesn't pay attention to details, and doesn't trust me to know where I'm going. So if was very frustrating when she kept asking for directions every 500 feet (or so it seemed) to get to a certain downtown shopping area. What was Lili's goal?  Well, it was to pick up several large boxes of a mass market Canadian tea - King Cole. It may be a tasty tea, but to walk a couple of miles to find the tea (and argue about directions and path all the way) was not a pleasure for me.  

When Lili gets into shopping mode, there is no stopping her. And this is very annoying, as she gets lost in her own little world. She will miss her target, simply because she is do distracted by all the pretty little things she encounters along the way.  Compare that with me. I can enjoy browsing through clothes racks. But if I have something I'm looking for, I will maintain focus on my goal, and ignore all other things that could have caught my fancy at other times.

- - - - - -

We eventually made it back to the ship by 1 pm or so. Lili had steered me towards a female customs agent, feeling that she would be less in a mood to question the difference between my gender presentation and that on my legal ID being given to her.  She need not have worried, as Canada is much more enlightened when it comes to Transgender people.

The above statue commemorates all the people who came to Canada in prior waves of immigration. Today, they have a policy of ruthlessly selecting new immigrants for what they can bring to the Canadian economy. As a result, they have become a nation which is more responsive to public needs than we are, and less people live in worry that a "minor" economic mishap can push them into poverty.

Why do I mention the issue that most Americans are within 3 paychecks of destitution? Well, I did not see a single Canadian on the streets begging for excess cash. Contrast this with our later stops in Portland and Bar Harbor Maine, where I saw more than a handful of people begging for money. Yes, there were Canadians who were busking for money. But there is a big difference between people who have to beg for money and those who will perform for pocket change.


  1. How appropriate that you took Lili's pic in front of an old Canadian National coach railcar! Friends used to be a part of a group that owned several. Other than needing a paint job, that one doesn't look too bad!

    And Lili looks very nice.

  2. Mandy -

    You should know me by now. The first two words out of my mouth as a baby were not "MA MA" or "DA DA", but "CHOO CHOO". :-)