New Hampshire: Day 3

Thumbnail: Corn chips

Thumbnail: Real tacos

I’m free again after my train­ing, and Dave takes me to his favourite restau­rant in Nashua to meet up with Sid and his girl­friend. It’s a small, fam­i­ly-owned Mexican joint with bright colours and an appro­pri­ate­ly accent­ed wait­ress.

Over din­ner, we com­pare our region­al dif­fer­ences. I ask them what it means when some­one says “A quar­ter of one” (12:45), because they don’t say “a quar­ter to one”. I ask them if they take their shoes off when they get in the house (some­times, depend­ing on the host), because I noticed no one did when I was in a house1. I ask them if they have bub­ble tea (there’s one Vietnamese restau­rant that serves it), because it’s all over Canada now. I tell them New York Fries serves pou­tine (What’s New York Fries?). I pull out some Canadian bills and show them the braille (Oooooooh). At one point, Sid calls me on my “eh”, con­trast­ed from their “huh” used at the end of a sen­tence to empha­size a point.

Thumbnail: Downtown Manchester

Thumbnail: Cross button
Thumbnail: Kelly and Dave.
Thumbnail: Chelsey and Ed
Thumbnail: Greek donuts
Thumbnail: Dave's notes

Dave and I dri­ve to down­town Manchester, the biggest city in New Hampshire, to a bar/café called Republic. Every month, Dave orga­nizes the Collective, a group of cre­ative peo­ple with a cer­tain ener­gy, and a void in their lives when it comes to some­one with whom to dis­cuss their endeav­ors on a prac­ti­cal, non­threat­en­ing, phil­an­thropic lev­el.

I repeat a per­son­’s name after being intro­duced to them, a trick I learned from the client spe­cial­ist course I took in New Hampshire four years ago.

At one point, Ed asks us how we know each oth­er, and Dave explains, along with a sto­ry:

When my sis­ter and I were kids, we imag­ined what it would be like if we were more of us, so we need­ed an old­er sis­ter and a younger broth­er to round out the sib­ling expe­ri­ence. As the old­est broth­er, I need­ed to know what hav­ing an old­er sis­ter was like. And we also chose per­son­al­i­ties to go with them. I think the old­er sis­ter was a heavy­set, strong girl with a deter­mined, moth­er­ing ten­den­cy toward us. Her name was Daphne, and she was the type to play field hock­ey or lacrosse when she went to col­lege had we known what that was back when we were kids. The younger broth­er would be a slen­der, artis­tic type that was a styl­ish and care­ful dress­er; “met­ro­sex­u­al” was the term we’d have used, my sis­ter com­ment­ed recent­ly, had we known the word. His name was Leland.

And when he met me yes­ter­day, he thought, “That’s Leland!”. Now he’s won­der­ing if he’s going to run into Daphne in the future.

After two hours of bril­liant con­ver­sa­tion and exchange of ener­gy, we go our sep­a­rate ways. These are my peo­ple, and I feel the need to start some­thing sim­i­lar in Ottawa.

Thumbnail: Me and Dave

I take a pic­ture of us because I leave tomor­row, short­ly after the end of the course, and won’t have a chance to see him again. I offer my house if he ever wants to get away and change up his frame of mind, and he returns the offer.

In 24 hours, I’ll be home sweet home again, but cer­tain­ly wish­ing I had more time to talk, and relate, and feel as if there was anoth­er kin­dred soul in the world.

  1. Not even in my hotel room, which I found very strange. []

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