Through my travels I have learned, that while there may not be many people in Saskatchewan, we are everywhere else – something I have decided to refer to as The Saskatchewan Occurrency. From the chap from Moose Jaw we met while waiting for the sketchy bus in the Cinque Terre to my great uncle sitting in an A&W in Lloyd (he did not live there either, by the way), I have witnessed The Saskatchewan Occurrency a number of times, and it is never expected.
Many of you are probably thinking “Who is the Man in the Feathered Hat from Saskatchewan that she has run into?” Alas, as far as I know, he is not from Saskatchewan. I have not yet spoken to the Man in the Feathered Hat. But I bring up The Saskatchewan Occurrency in the theory of fate. There are just over 1,000,000 people in the province of Saskatchewan, yet people all over the world have connections to our modest prairie province. While times are changing and the province is seeing a rise in international affairs (I read an article about PotashCorp in the Bristol paper last week), for many years Saskatchewan was pushed aside, looked past, driven through, flown over, etc. We had the Roughriders, who were not exactly at the top of their game, some potash, and some tarnished news stories regarding our police force. Flourishing economies and opportunities drew thousands away from the province and while they may no longer have had a S-postal code, I have always noticed a sense of camaraderie when people of Saskatchewan meet outside of the province. There is a sense of pride in the people of Saskatchewan (I have seen pictures of Rider flags in pubs in Ireland) and something, perhaps fate, brings the few of us together at sporadic times to educate the rest of the world, even if it is just the pronunciation of ‘Saskatchewan’ or what that green flag with the crooked “S” is for.
And now I bring you to the Man in the Feathered Hat. When I came over to England, I flew with Icelandair and decided for $7 CDN, I might as well stop for a day in Iceland and explore (see previous posts for photos, etc.) The following day, I took the shuttle bus back to Reykjavik airport and noticed a young man, early twenties probably, who bore a striking resemblance to a Music student I knew in Saskatoon, and was wearing a German Folkfest Pavillion-style hat, with an obnoxious pheasant feather in it (I say obnoxious due to the size of the feather in relativity to the size of the plane we would be flying in). This young man ended up on the flight from Reykjavik to London Heathrow with me. Generally speaking, when you enter into an international airport as busy as Heathrow, you do not expect to see the same person twice. And so I believed my encounter with the Man in the Feathered Hat was finished.
I was wrong.
I bounced around to a few different places while searching for a place to live in Bristol. Walking to the museum one day, who did I see? The Man in the Feathered Hat. In a country with a population of over 61,000,000 people, we ended up in a city just double the size of Saskatoon. After settling into my flat, I walked roughly five minutes to the grocer; while in the queue, the Man in the Feathered Hat walked into the store. Not only have we ended up in the same city, we live in the same neighbourhood.
For a few weeks after this, the Man in the Feathered Hat goes missing (or hiding from my gaze thinking I followed him from Iceland) until I see the Cat Empire play a concert in the city centre. Walking down the stairs, I run straight into the Man in the Feathered Hat. We exchange puzzled looks and part ways; I have decided that if we run into each other again, I have to say something. Something is telling me I must befriend the Man in the Feathered Hat. But I do enjoy the novelty of the Man in the Feathered Hat. I have the freedom to make up his story, why he was in Iceland, and why he chose an obnoxiously large feather for travel but switched it to a much smaller one for the concert…
In other news, myself and an Australian had make-shift poutine at a pub yesterday, the lady at the bar looked at us like we were crazy and had to confirm a few times if we actually wanted the gravy on top of the cheese and bacon that was on top of chips. I also finally found bulk chocolate chips and we celebrated with making banana chocolate chip muffins and chocolate chip cookies in one evening, and few remain.
I apologize for the lack of photos, relevant information but things have picked up work wise and its been rainy/miserable so I have had little time/desire to head outside, although my bank account is starting to grin again. I hope next weekend to get out on another walk and may have a chased-by-bull story for you. Til then!
(To tie it together, I have been subject to The Saskatchewan Occurrency here in Bristol. I was in a restaurant and heard a table discussing if speaking French is a requirement to join the Canadian Army. Knowing the answer and thinking no other Canadians were present, I answered the question. As it turns out, one of the guys grew up in Regina, and yes he did fill me in on how the Riders were doing.)