Imagine my surprise while in Halifax when I walked into the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to see the below – the Office of Gaelic Affairs. One of the things that I love about Canada, immigrant history remains strong – in this case Scottish (oops – corrected from Irish). The Gaelic language is spoken frequently (didn’t know that) and remains a strong part of the culture.
I was also told a funny Gaelic story. When the G8 was held out there, an ad was put in the paper for a bilingual taxi driver to shuttle dignitaries and staff. When they hired the guy, someone tried to speak French to him. He didn’t speak a word. They hauled him in and said ‘Right here on your application you said you were bilingual’. ‘Yes’ he responded, ‘I also speak Gaelic’.
Another funny story. While I was in Halifax I was told about the European tourist who mistook Sydney, Nova Scotia with Sydney, Australia. Via:
Joannes Rutten should fire his travel agent. Or pay closer attention. The 71-year-old Dutch tourist and his 14-year-old grandson Nick thought they were flying from Amsterdam to Sydney, Australia. Through a mix-up, they ended up flying to Sydney, Nova Scotia in Canada.
Air Canada arranged hotel rooms in Sydney, NS for the pair, until they could arrange flight back to Amsterdam where they could sort out their flights.
It turns out Rutten said they didn’t know there was another Sydney. He’s not alone. Other tourists have ended up in the wrong Sydney before.
The weather was bad (very Irish – rain and wind), but the sunset was spectacular as we caught a quick flight over to St. John. And yes, that is a prop. Luckily it was not a Dash 8 that we flew in on (which is about as smooth as a roller coaster ride).