LOOKING BACK: Better luck in Nova Scotia

LOOKING BACK: Better luck in Nova Scotia


By Herb Moore

Special to the Chronicle

My wife and I were reminiscing of various places we’d eaten and experiences we had in our travels. We’ll start at the historic town of Yale, situated at the southern end of the Fraser Canyon highway.

We were taking her 83-year-old father down to his home at the coast, and here I must tell you that he had been complaining of being hungry for some time.

I decided to stop at Smitty’s, a restaurant chain located on the west side of the highway with convenient parking. When our food order came he grabbed it up to satisfy his hunger; at almost the same time my wife grabbed his arms and said “don’t eat it! It’s bad!” The last she shouted out due to his impaired hearing.

Well, this caused other patrons to stop and stare and our waitress to come running. After a quick sniff of the food she said “Oh my god!” and then rushed off to the kitchen with our plates. Many apologies and a fresh order on the house sent us on our way.

Still Yale, but this time on our return trip from the coast, a small Chinese restaurant on the east side of the highway. A large sign in the window proclaimed: “Worlds Best Hamburger.”

When we walked through the door we were greeted with a loud “harooo!” We were handed a menu which was in itself entertaining as the spelling was phonetic Chinese. We were further entertained while eating our excellent hamburgers by the owners watching out the window at the traffic, and when a vehicle would turn into Smitty’s proclaim loudly. “Nother son-a-bitch go Smitty.”

Now we’re in Blaine Lake, Sask. We had fuelled up and asked where we could get lunch and were pointed out a Betty’s Café just up the street or, “The Chinamen’s down by the railway.”

After parking the truck and trailer we walked into Betty’s. Picture this: you all remember the old western movie where the bad guy or the hero steps through the door into the saloon and everything goes quiet. Well, I always dress what I am, an old cowboy. When we stepped through the door of the café it was full of noontime customers all talking away, but suddenly it went dead quiet and they all stopped talking and stared at us. We looked around but all the tables were filled and stepped back out again and it was as though a switch had been thrown as they all started talking again. We could just imagine “Who was those strangers?” We ate at the Chinamen’s.

We’re still on the road now in Windsor, Nova Scotia; it’s lunch time, there’s a handy McDonald’s. We order McLobster burgers and head to a table. Now here I gotta tell you, I don’t reckon I’m real ugly but I’m a long way from being a Robert Redford look alike.

We had no sooner sat down than this woman setting at the next table with a fella proclaims in a fairly loud voice. “I was watching you walk in boy are you fit you look great” and then turns to the fella and says “doesn’t he?”

She wants to know were I’m from and she’s not taking her eyes off me, completely ignoring my wife who is grinning at my discomfort. The fella is not too happy with her going on about me I’m just grunting replies to her attentions, stuffing down my lunch so we can get out of there before her fella decides to beat on me or her.

In the same vein, we’re in the World Heritage Site of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Found this beautiful old house/tea- room and had ordered the fish chowder. My patient wife is grinning at me and says it’s happening again, those two women over there aren’t taking their eyes off you. Sure enough, when we get up to leave the one starts asking me where I’m from would I have time to visit them, again ignoring my wife.

What can I say fellas, if your not having any luck here you might give Nova Scotia a try.


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