friends & neighbours


Someone commented on Twitter lately that Saint John feels like a big urban centre with a small town heart. It’s easy to fall into conversation with a stranger while waiting in line at the bank or watching the harbour seals from the boardwalk. While it’s true that many people are in a hurry or isolated in their own little bubbles, the general impression for newcomers and old timers is of a friendly city.

So when one of the vendors in the City Market asked me about my camera, I stopped to talk to him. And I found out that Daniel has a lot of interests, a lot of ideas and a lot of enthusiasm, and he loves to meet people. As we talked and passersby shopped, I remembered that Christmas is not stuff, it’s people. The spirit of Christmas is right here, in these conversations, where strangers become friends, and newcomers become neighbours.

The next time I walk through the market, I’ll be sure to say Hi to Daniel, my new friend and neighbour.

Photo taken on December 18, 2010


8 thoughts on “friends & neighbours

  1. I read this post, which I found to be very true, and a few minutes after, I came across this:

    These two posts describes, very accurately, what I, as (still?) a newcomer have experienced. This ‘saying hi to strangers’, is not at all part of my background but oh, so easy to adapt to. I love Saint John. The city itself puts me in a good mood on any gray day…

    • Wow, thanks for the link, Rebekah. Kinda makes me all teary eyed to read about so many kindnesses, so many generous and neighbourly acts. I’m glad you have experienced this too, that it’s not just my perception as a Saint Johner born and bred.

      • no, that was my experience from day 1. Also, it goes to prove how much a few, random words … perhaps about the weather … can really mean..

  2. I find that New Brunswick as a whole has this kind of attitude. Strangers are just people you haven’t met yet. I love the reminder too that Christmas is about people and not “things”. I believe that today, I will go out and talk to some of the people in my home town. Thanks!

    • I’m glad to see your comment about the rest of New Brunswick, Monica — you’ve reminded me that I’ve been wanting to take more road trips around the province! And as much as I enjoy the online community, nothing beats a face-to-face conversation — enjoy your visiting!

  3. I come from a small community and was surprised on how many people have said hi to me before I had time to say it. I find people very polite and thoughtful here, they will stop their vehicle to let a pedestrian cross or a vehicle pull out. Fascinating people in Saint John.

    PS: I’ve also met Daniel on my first visit to the Market. Very charismatic person!

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