Island folk have their own mystique. They are leery of outsiders, and often have strange names for them. We have two island provinces in Canada, and the larger one has such a unique culture that the rest of the provinces poke fun at its people.
“Newfies” are your basic, salt of the earth, hard working people. For the most part. I can always spot a Newfie woman, certainly by her charming dialect, but more so by the content of her conversation. When a woman lists off how many floors she scrubbed today, how many loaves of bread she baked, who she gave them to, and a whole list of chores she has performed, you can safely bet that she’s old school Newf.
Children of old school Newfie women have tightly braided hair, their starched dresses as spotless as the houses they live in. I got a sense of what it might be like to be on the receiving end of this work ethic when I had my hair done in Newfoundland. The stylist, not lazy by a long shot, really put her back into the
ordeal procedure. There was more yanking and pulling of hair than I had ever experienced.Did I mention it was my hair that was being yanked?
I asked the stylist if that was how her mother did her hair. Duh. I already knew the answer. It behooved me to explain that a customer might go to a salon for some pampering. You know? A pain-free experience?
Her position was that Newfie women came to her to get the nostalgic Mom experience. “It’s how we always does it, missus.”
Who was I to argue? I was a “come from away”.
I think she was pissed that I didn’t tip her. Because really? Her shop was the cleanest I’ve been in.