Home sweet home to Canada! And it is sweet, although being away was not exactly a hardship. What was meant to be a long-weekend getaway was extended into a five-day vacation when our return flight Sunday was abruptly cancelled. Weather was blamed. No matter. We were stranded in Bermuda, a haven where winter is about as harsh as a hibiscus. For us, the contrast against Toronto’s frigid February was welcome. (“You know how we can tell the Canadians?” a Bermudian driver said to me, laughing. “They’re the ones swimming in wintertime!”) Can you blame us? It was balmy and we were giddy with sunshine, palm trees and stunning blue waters.
The other thing that stood out for us in Bermuda was its colossal sense of civility. It wasn’t just the friendliness – although we witnessed that in spades – but the common courtesy. And by common, I mean it was everywhere. When you caught eyes with a passing stranger on the sidewalk, they asked how you’re doing. When a granny climbed the bus steps and announced a general “Good morning, everyone,” the entire ridership responded: “Good morning.” The words “thank you” were rampant. And they call us Canadians polite?
Maybe it’s because, with less than 65,000 people, Bermuda is more like a small town than an entire country. Or maybe it’s because these people wake up every morning with a view of the ocean, instead of an urgent need to apply an ice scraper to their windshields. Either way, it was a pleasant place to be, and pleasant people to be there with. Just think of it… an island paradise, where everyone minds their p’s and q’s.