One of the things I love about Haida Gwaii is all the great food available to eat here. Whether you eat at home or go out to one of the 10 million Chinese food restaurants on island, great food is certainly synonymous with Haida Gwaii living.
My wife and I mostly cook for ourselves, or sometimes for our heat-pump repairman who has a habit of showing up unannounced at dinner time and walking all over our furniture with his shoes on, then breaking all of our lamps (which he uses as flashlights). We mostly cook salmon, halibut, deer, and lamb for our meat, with a side of vegetables from our garden. My wife loves vegetables, while I eat them as a way of showing my wife that I love her so much that I am willing to eat a vegetable every now and then.
We like to do barbecues with friends in the summer and potlucks with friends in the winter. But since I started writing this column, we have lost most of our friends. So I promised her I would write a column about making friends here on Haida Gwaii. Here goes.
Chris’ guide to making lots of friends on Haida Gwaii and how not to lose them*
1. A great way to make friends here is to hitchhike. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve made on this island using this method. So many times I have been suntanning nude in the garden on a crisp February day when my wife walks through the gate with a hitchhiker she has picked up. She often invites them in because she is an extremely friendly and generous person, or because they are also from Germany, and offers to draw them directions to some remote place. I usually make them laugh when they meet me. But as I said, I sun-bathe when it’s really, really cold out.
2. Go to evening events and parties. This is a great way to meet people who are courageous enough to leave their homes after sundown. I am not one of these people, so you will rarely see me at these things. But then, you don’t really want to be friends with me anyway (trust me on this). People very different than me go to these things. People who aren’t acrimonious and ornery. People who are fun and outgoing. Good ‘friend material’ people.
3. Buy everyone a brand new car or truck. Although expensive, this is very effective. Make you sure you tell people that you bought them the vehicle with your own money, otherwise they will think you just got a grant for it and they will drive it, but unappreciatively.
4. Don’t gossip about people or spread rumours. This is a tough one only because of all the juicy gossip and rumour floating around out there. No matter what you hear about people, don’t repeat it to anyone. If you’re not sure whether the information is gossip, just run it by me and I will let you know.
5. Pretend to show interest in people’s lives as they talk to you. This is very, very important. People are going to tell you all about their lives and even though it will be incredibly boring, listen and pretend to be interested. People really dig it when someone shows interest in there yammerings. So put on a brave face, try not to get distracted by your own yammerings, and smile at them every now and then.
*At least for the first two weeks.