Next On Small Town Living:
Cue the jaws theme here.
I’m being dead serious about this one. Small town life just seems… old fashioned. Does that make sense? Also super redneck.
Nakusp is one town in the middle of several that make up the Kootney region of BC. Considering the size of most of these towns, travel between them is common. As with my previous post, those from the Kootneys are more respected than those who aren’t.
Besides all the small towns, however, there’s the different areas of Nakusp itself. It’s the biggest town for quite a while, bustling with it’s one street of shops and single flashing street light, so you get a lot of folks coming from the surrounding area. There’s Burton – about half an hour outside of Nakusp. They’ve only got a mill and a cider plant there, and so the ‘town’s’ pretty much dead. Only a few people live out there now, and it’s really socially reclusive. That’s where our cabin is. Faulquier is another one – renowned locally for it’s golf course – and is made up of a restaurant and a ferry crossing.
So here’s where you start to get the different people groups, alright? I’ve finally got them all classified.
First of all, you’ve got the seniors. Most of them are living in Nakusp itself, since being outside of town comes with quite a few different challenges, especially those who don’t drive. These are the people who either attend church, or are somewhat edgy. All of them, however, are flat out uninterested in anyone outside of their circle. They’re heavily involved in the community, known everyone since they were kids themselves, and stick to what they know. Their conversations generally consist of how The-Lady-Who-Just Stayed-In-The-Hospital is faring, and what their neighbor’s husband’s sister’s grandchild’s best friend is called. If that sounds hard to follow, believe me, you’ve got no idea.
The next group we’ve got are the able bodied seniors. These are folks who grew up just outside of town, grew up redneck, and still live there to this day. Their health isn’t so bad that they have to live in occupied areas, so instead they live on their huge properties. They got their little cabins or run down houses, often with a lack of internet and/or electricity, and are less like gossipy women than the city seniors, but rather, are very stuck in their ways, and are ‘men,’ if you want to humor stereotypes for a moment. I’m talking people who hunt all their own food, who come into town once a month despite the fifteen minute drive, and detest anything even remotely ‘city.’ The majority of them that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting has been at work. They’ll come in asking how to charge their phones when they don’t have electricity in their houses, complain about the long drive up here, or tell me about how they’re hoping to learn how to use a computer because they haven’t so much as touched one before.
Of course, a list wouldn’t be complete without listing the tourists, because the town grows a few times over during the summer. You can spot a tourist a mile away, usually because they’re young or with a family. I know that I look like one too, which may be the reason for all the weird looks. Anyways, they’re usually alright. I got asked by one where to buy pot once, so that was fun.
However, most of them are from Alberta, and if you don’t know anything about Canada at all, let me explain something to you. Alberta is the province right next to us – the only one, in fact, and they’ve got all the oil fields. They’ve also got things like the Calgary Stampede. In which case, there are only ever two kinds of people who come out here to spend their summer – Rednecks/cowboys or rich assholes.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time it’s the rich assholes who visit. Then again, whenever you get anyone visiting from a ‘wealthy’ place, such as my hometown, you generally find that they’re a lot ruder. I mean, ruder than the old people who stare at me when I walk down the street.
Kids are basically nonexistent, and the only people my age I’ve seen are working in the cafes or the single grocery store in town. Then again, I saw a group of thirteen-year-olds hanging out at the Overwaitee close to midnight, so maybe they’re all just vampires. I don’t know. I’ll have to investigate that later.
The kids I have seen (besides the working ones), however are also rednecks. What do you do in a small town for fun? I guess it’s either drugs or shooting guns, right? There’s hunting, fishing, mechanics, etc. I met this one kid, Jacob, and when I went to my boss’s house for a barbeque, he was there. Said something about how he spent his morning skinning deer or whatever and I had to do a double take. This guy’s a year younger than me and he spends his time ripping dead animal’s skin off their carcass. Sure, I’m not against the idea. I’m such a gore junkie it’s kinda gross. But to hear someone say it so casually? Not something that happens in the big city.
However, regardless of which group you happen to fall into, one thing always remains the same. The pace of life is slower, and everyone respects that. No one complains that nothing’s open on Sundays or Mondays, or that the bookshop closes and hour every day for lunch, or that almost everything in town is closed up by two. It’s just how it goes. Try to book some time in with someone, and all they tell you is to pop in whenever you want. Plans are made at the spur of the moment, people stick to what they’re used to and remain relatively close minded, and things are made to endure.
Just like how Bilbo described Hobbiton in Lord of the Rings. Or something.