Tuesday, June 29, 2010

day 1 in prince edward island

i woke up yesterday morning to the sounds of cockatiels musically imitating my cough, the ocean gently lapping against a carcass on the red dirt shores, and the grunts of alpacas grazing on the front lawn. the cottage here seems like it comes out of another world. so much ocean. so much red dirt. and rob's parents' herd of alpacas who just hang out chewing the grass in the field all day. PEI life seems pretty relaxing in general, but i think the alpacas have it best.

we took the alpacas for a hike so i could explore the area, stepping carefully to avoid the slugs lying on the grass after the rain.

this alpaca was not a big fan of Rob.

I, on the other hand, had a special moment with this one.

i found myself interested in the daily concerns of cottage life, which were not too different from back home. Rob's dad showed us the skunk holes that had been filled up but the new holes where a weasel had moved in. The neighbour mentioned how something had killed the fox that the alpacas like to play with, probably a coyote. one problem in particular caught our interest: the big dead seal that had washed up on shore.

that's a pretty big problem....

it's going to be interesting, figuring out how to get rid of it...

in the late afternoon, it was low tide so rob and i went walking along the red sandbars, trying to avoid stepping on the washed up jellyfish (which i have been culturally trained to view as delicious) and the snails (also culturally delicious to a Korean) while trying to throw the dried-up crabs back into the ocean to save them. we were fascinated by the shallow pools formed around the beached seaweed, where hermit crabs and little nymphs like to hide and play and fight, like a natural mini-aquarium. rob and i spent some time throwing the red clay rocks down the cliffs and watching them explode into tiny pieces. when i was little, growing up in rural upstate New York, my sister and i used to play on the dirt hills around our house, smashing rocks against other rocks, where we developed the idea that if you threw a rock and it broke, then it wasn't a real rock. following my childhood rule, none of the rocks here in PEI are real rocks.

low tide.

near Charlottetown we saw a car with a very simple license plate number: 2. i kind of like the pace of the island here. Rob's dad told us how when he was younger here, they erected a streetlamp in Charlottetown which was the first streetlamp in Prince Edward Island, and folks drive in from all over the Island to "try out" the new streetlamp. There's similar excitement going on around here with the new roundabouts that they're installing in Charlottetown. to ensure that people learn how to navigate the roundabout properly, they've set up a fake roundabout in a mall parking lot nearby so people can practice driving through a roundabout, and folks drove in from all over to try it out.

despite being smaller than St. John's, Charlottetown is not as small as you'd think, though. i found a Korean grocery store here, and expect to hit it up sometime in case i get a kimchi ramen noodle craving in the middle of the night.

in the evening, rob and i went to a drive-in movie theatre near Brackley Beach, which we haven't done since we went to that one in Perth a few years ago. the movies we saw (Knight and Day, the A Team) were kind of awful, but awful in a fun way, probably because we were watching them in a car, spilling popcorn on the seats while wrapped up in sleeping bags, kind of like the way our grandparents used to. well, maybe not my grandparents because they were living in pre-industrialized Korea, but someone's grandparents.

today, today we try to get rid of the seal.